ISLAMABAD: The United States (US) and Pakistan on Wednesday pledged to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations and work together for the peace and stability of the region.
The U.S Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome called on Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, said a press release issued by the Ministry of Commerce here.
Syed Naveed Qamar congratulated the ambassador on assuming his charge in Pakistan and underscored the importance of the decades-long relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.
The role played by Pakistan in averting a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the efforts undertaken by it to ensure stability of the region were also highlighted.
The ambassador appreciated the significant growth seen in exports from Pakistan to the U.S. and expressed the hope for a deeper and wider bilateral relationship in the fields of trade and investment, digital services, science and technology, education, energy and climate.
The recently held Pakistan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Intersessional Meeting was hailed by both sides as an important development in paving the way for future engagements.
Federal Secretary for Commerce, Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui informed that subsequent to the TIFA Intersessional, technical-level discussions have been held by the Ministry of Commerce on various market access issues between both countries.
The commerce minister also requested for early revival of the U.S. GSP Scheme which will further provide market access to Pakistani exporters.
To the concern expressed by Ambassador Blome regarding difficulties faced by businesses due to the import ban on luxury items recently implemented by the Government of Pakistan, the Minister for Commerce assured that the ban is temporary in nature and a certain relief has already been granted to some of the shipments.
Ambassador Blome was assured that the Ministry of Commerce is working diligently for the resolution of any issues being faced by businesses, including those of U.S.
Regional connectivity also came under discussion as Secretary Commerce highlighted the steps taken by Pakistan to further connectivity within the region, especially with the Central Asian Republics (CARs), most recently with the signing of Transit Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.