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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


BoI to sign treaties as per its new template
The Board of Investment (BoI) is all set to sign treaties with foreign countries in line with the new Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) template, which was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week, sources said.
Pakistan to terminate 23 bilateral investment treaties
Decision aimed at avoiding international arbitration with foreign firms .
Pakistan, Bahrain agree to negotiate CEPA
Pakistan and Bahrain agreed to start talks on a free trade agreement for trade liberalisation and increasing the volume between the two countries.
Pakistan, Bahrain to sign MoU for promotion of bilateral trade, investment
Pakistan and Bahrain will sign a memorandum of understanding for the promotion of trade and investment opportunities during the second session of Pak-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission.
Pakistan, Uzbekistan agree to finalise Preferential Trade Agree­ment
Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Wednes­day agreed to finalise bilateral Preferential Trade Agree­ment (PTA) within three months to further boost bilateral trade volume.
Imran okays new bilateral investment treaty template
Pakistan Prime Minister has approved the new Bilateral Investment Treaty template whereby any dispute will now be remedied through local arbitration.
Preferential trade deal with Uzbekistan likely
Preferential trade agreement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan, bilateral cooperation in other areas including transit trade, customs, banking, trade and investment, transport and other MoUs and agreements will be signed.
Pakistan, Uzbekistan set to sign TTA on 15th
Pakistan is all set to sign the Transit Trade Agreement (TTA) with Uzbekistan in Tashkent on July 15, paving the way for having access for its products to the 90 billion dollars market of five Central Asian States.
Cost of bilateral investment treaties
Since Pakistan is already facing problems in attracting any new investment, it may not be in a position to terminate its bilateral treaties en bloc. Therefore, the only option is to review and renegotiate the scope of existing treaties and enter into any new negotiations with utmost care.
Investment treaties and FDI
Not only are the BITs not necessary for attracting FDI, they have potential costs as well. A case in point is Pakistan, which is a signatory to 52 BITs, but has a rather poor record of attracting FDI.

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  • Pakistan FTAs
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