Pakistan needs free access to US markets

ISLAMABAD, Sep 24 (APP):Business community here on Tuesday hoped that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ongoing visit to United States of America (USA) would bring both the countries closer besides seeking direct market access on zero rate duty to help stabilize its economy in the wake of war on terror in the region.

In a press statement issued here today, Founder Chairman Pak-US Business Council Iftikhar Ali Malik said Pakistan needs immediate direct access to US markets and not aid as it has suffered irreparable colossal financial loss for playing front line role in the war on terror and US must support Pakistan to achieve its economic prosperity and self-reliance.

He said joint efforts were needed to further cement the existing economic ties between Pakistan and US private sector. He said Pakistan and US were enjoying amicable relationship and coalition partners against war on terror.

He also demanded that the US President Donald Trump should announce packages of incentives for the quick revival of the Pakistani economy during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan as Pakistan has also suffered 200 billion dollars losses economically in the war against terror.

Iftikhar Malik who is also Senior Vice President of SAARC Chamber said that USA was the largest trading partner of Pakistan with trade volume US $6.7 billion.

He said that Pakistan’s major exports to United States were sports goods, surgical goods, leather and finished leather products, textile, cotton yarn, garments, carpets, and rice.

Pakistan’s main imports from United States are electrical machinery, equipment, medicines, dry fruits, perfumes, coffee, dates and other food items, he added.

He also stressed the need for negotiation on bilateral investment treaty for promotion of investment.
He suggested the United States and Pakistan should expand cooperation on the 2013 Joint Action Plan on Trade and Investment as the United States remains Pakistan’s largest bilateral export market and a significant source of foreign direct investment.

He said the USA should remove the bottlenecks in bilateral investment treaty and efforts should be made on signing a free trade agreement (FTA) at the earliest and it was now imperative that the US should offer same package and incentives which it offered to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in textile exports, such as duty concessions and market access”.

“There must be an incentive package for Pakistan for being a front-line state in combating terrorism.
There is a need for duty cut and market access for Pakistani textile goods to the USA,” he added. He further said visa restrictions should be eased for the Pakistani businessmen and exporters and joint efforts were needed to further strengthen the existing economic ties between Pakistan and US private sector.

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