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Pakistan

The government of Pakistan is a keen pursuer of bilateral trade and investment agreements. It has a full FTA with Sri Lanka (2005), a PTA with Iran (2004) and Mauritius (2007), Early Harvest Schemes with China (2005) and Malaysia (2007), and is part of both ECOTA and SAFTA. It is in various stages of FTA talks, or preparations for talks, with Brunei, Indonesia, Jordan, Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, Switzerland, Indonesia, Nepal, China, Turkey and Russia (among others). In July 2006, it signed a Framework Agreement on Trade with Mercosur.

Negotiations on a US-Pakistan bilateral investment treaty, as a step towards a US-Pakistan FTA, have been quite controversial and are unconcluded. After talks restarted in mid-2010, a draft US-Pakistan BIT was sent for approval to Pakistan’s Cabinet in April 2012. The Pakistani government has already signed almost 50 BITs with other countries. In 2011 Germany ratified a BIT with Pakistan.

On a wider scale, there is talk of possible Pakistani FTAs with Afghanistan, Algeria, the EU, Japan, Laos, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Tunisia.

last update: May 2012
Photo: Asian Development Bank/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Signing of BIT with US put off
The signing of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Pakistan and the US, expected on the eve of visit of President Bush this weekend in Islamabad, has apparently been put off again as businessmen give no indication of firm answers from the US on objections raised by Pakistan on certain clauses.
Bush plans to sign investment treaty: Greater cooperation with Pakistan on cards
US President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that a bilateral investment treaty that he is planning to sign during his visit to Islamabad will be the first step towards greater trade and commercial relations with Pakistan.
Cabinet approves negotiations on bilateral investment agreement with Kuwait
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Wednesday approved negotiations on bilateral investment agreement between the governments of Pakistan and Kuwait.
Pakistan, Bangladesh sign 4 memoranda
Pakistan and Bangladesh signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on trade, standardisation and quality control, agriculture and tourism on Monday.
PM proposes FTA with Oman
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Monday proposed that Pakistan and Oman should sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to further expand their economic ties and this would be Pakistan’s first FTA with a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.
Prime Minister hints at early FTA with US
US President George W Bush has instructed Trade Representative Rob Portman to expedite the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told newsmen on board a flight returning home after a weeklong visit to US.
US drops sanctions threat on Pakistan over piracy
The United States has dropped a threat to cut off trade benefits for Pakistan because of steps that country has made to crack down on the piracy of US music, movies and software, the US Trade Representative’s office said on Tuesday.
Pakistan, US to hold final round of BIT talks
A high powered US delegation is arriving here on 18 of this month to hold talks with the Pakistani authorities to finalise the BIT, in the absence of which, Washington was unprepared to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan.
Signing of BIT likely on 20th: Access to US market
Pakistan is seeking additional $2 billion market access from the United States and the issue is likely to be finalized after both the countries conclude their much awaited Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) here on January 20.
Free trade regime between Pakistan and China from Jan 1
Pakistan and China are set to launch the much awaited free trade regime under the Early Harvest Programme (EHP) from January 1.

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  • Pakistan FTAs
    Webpage maintained by the Ministry of Commerce