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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

Chinese proposal for FTA items’ classification rejected
Pakistan has rejected a Chinese demand that 90 percent items covered under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) should be put on positive list and remaining 10 percent in negative mode.
Pakistan and US to enhance trade, economic relations
The United States has appreciated Pakistan’s trade and investment policies as liberal and attractive and has suggested to the government of Pakistan to arrange a meeting with all US companies working in Pakistan at a proper forum to know their concerns about making investment in Pakistan and subsequently devise a mechanism to address their concerns as it would go a long way in attracting foreign investment in Pakistan.
M’sia provides ideal base to penetrate Asean market
Bilateral and regional trade and investment liberalisation measures undertaken in the context of Asean complement the opportunities offered by Malaysia’s growing economy, thus providing an ideal base for companies to penetrate the Asean market, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said Thursday.
Federal Cabinet approves finalizing of FTA with Russia
Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet has approved finalizing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Russia.
Free trade pact with Bahrain shortly
Pakistan and Bahrain will shortly ink Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which would boost trade between the two countries.
Pitfalls in signing BIT with US
A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with the United States was billed to be signed during President Bush’s visit to Islamabad last month. However, the signing ceremony was put off because the US draft contained some provisions which President Musharraf said were highly objectionable and needed to be renegotiated.
Pakistan-Bangladesh agree to conclude bilateral FTA by September, 2006
The bilateral FTA would go beyond the tariff concessions provided under the SAFTA agreement.
US FTAs could hit Pak gains in exports: ADB
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cautioned that free trade agreements between the US and many of Pakistan’s competitors in clothing exports as well as the trade diversion effect of the May 2005 inclusion of 10 East European countries in the EU (itself one of the top three T&C exporters), could affect the country’s potential gains in exports.
US unwilling on increased market access for textiles
The United States is reluctant to give increased market access for textile to Pakistan and has conveyed that any new trading arrangement that could be finalized between the two countries would be minus textile, a senior official told the Daily Times on Saturday.
Pakistan, US agree to conclude BIT soon
Pakistan and United States on Thursday agreed to conclude Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) as early as possible.


  • Pakistan FTAs
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