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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

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.
Joint study group to initiate Pakistan-Canada FTA
Steps are under way to set up a Pak-Canada Joint Study Group for initiating Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, as the volume of two-way trade is not up to the mark in Pakistan and Canada.
Pakistan seeks US market access to fight extremism
What Pakistan really needs to fight extremism is better access to US markets in order to create jobs, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan said.
Agreement on promoting investment in Pakistan
A joint venture agreement between Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) and the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was signed yesterday.
Pakistan, Canada to further enhance trade potentials
Pakistan and Canada said they may soon start talks on a Free Trade Agreement.
Pak-US FTA to be finalized soon: Humayun Akhtar
Commerce minister Humayun Akhtar Khan has assured that series of talks are underway and agreement between Pakistan and United States would soon be finalized to initiate free trade between the two countries.
Treaty may boost US investment in Pakistan
The proposed Pakistan-US Bilateral Investment Treaty expected to be signed during President Bush’s visit to Pakistan may increase direct US investment by 8 to 9 percent.
Cabinet may approve new trade accord with Indonesia today
The federal cabinet is expected to accord ex-post fecto approval to the signing of Framework Agreement between Pakistan and Indonesia on Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) and its ratification on Thursday.


  • Pakistan FTAs
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