The United States Trade Representative (USTR), Michael Froman, called on the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Washington, DC today. As member of the cabinet, the US Trade Representative is President Obama’s principal trade advisor and spokesperson on trade issues. The office of the USTR is responsible for developing and coordinating the US international trade, commodity and direct investment policy.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister emphasized that his Government’s priority was to anchor its economic policy around enhanced trade and private sector development. He added that the historic political transition in the country lends predictability and continuity to the economic and trade liberalization policies and offers huge incentives for prospective investors in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said that he was very keen to double the existing bilateral trade between US and Pakistan. He maintained that closer economic relations with the United States and expanded trade and investment opportunities will provide a strong base for mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.
The USTR appreciated the business friendly policies of the new democratic government and hoped that various steps being undertaken by Pakistan including privatization, elimination of subsidies in the energy sector and allowing hundred percent profit repatriation by foreign companies offer great incentives to the US companies to invest in Pakistan. To this end, Mr. Froman suggested diversification of Pakistan’s exports to the US and better use of the US GSP program. He underscored that the US was positively inclined towards looking at enhanced market access opportunity for Pakistan and proposed to initiate a dialogue at an early date under the TIFA arrangement.
The two sides also discussed the need to convene joint investment conferences for the benefit of the private sector of both countries to explore avenues of further investment.
October 21, 2013