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Investment treaty with Canada opposed

The News | Thursday, May 24, 2012

Investment treaty with Canada opposed

ISLAMABAD: The ministry of commerce has opposed the proposed bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Canada on a number of grounds as the controversial clause of covered investment is only to favour Canadian companies, The News learnt reliably on Thursday.

“We have suggested to the Board of Investment that it would be too early to conclude the treaty as the ministry did not get enough time to thoroughly examine the proposed BIT and forwarded it to WTO section of the ministry for detailed comments,” a senior official of the ministry confirmed asking not to be named.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim, federal minister for commerce, is unlikely to leave for Canada along with a three-member delegation for the 3rd round of talks starting from May 24 while state minister, Abbas Afridi, will head the delegation and two other members include secretary BOI, Munir Qureshi and one of its director general.

Although the state minister is heading the delegation, the same official said: “The situation is evident that ministry did not want to conclude the proposed BIT with Canada in haste likewise of BIT with USA.”

According to an earlier report, Canadian mission in Pakistan has said that they are going to invoke Pak-Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) of its violation by rejecting Tethyan Copper Company Pakistan’s application for grant of mining lease license in Reko Diq, Balochistan.

The proposed clause, which the ministry of commerce opposed, is to protect the Canadian covered investment in the new proposed BIT while another controversial clause is further taxing the Canadian companies, the official said.

The ministry also opposed the appointment of senior management in Board of Directors in Canadian companies without the approval of the government of Pakistan, he said.

 source: The News