3 December 2004
Pakistan, Mexico will negotiate free trade agreement
MEXICO CITY: President Pervez Musharraf said on Friday that Pakistan and Mexico had agreed to negotiate a free trade agreement, hoping it would pave the way for booming bilateral trade.
“Mexican President Vicente Fox has responded positively and has said Mexico will consider it realistically,” President Musharraf told a gathering of Mexican and Pakistani entrepreneurs at a breakfast hosted by the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology.
The president told Mexican investors about the potential for mutually beneficial trade between both countries, saying both would enjoy good prospects on the back of a growing Pakistani conomy.
Later, Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan said the Pakistan-Mexico Joint Commission on Trade and Investment would soon start negotiating the free trade agreement from which Pakistan had to gain a lot as Mexico was part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and one of the fast-expanding economies of the world.
President Musharraf also listed prospective areas for bilateral trade. He said Pakistan could export textiles, rice, sports goods, surgical instruments, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, leather garments, jewellery, gems and information technology.
He said both governments enjoyed good political relations and the joint commission would work innovatively to boost trade.
However, he urged the private sectors of both countries to come forward and interact more frequently to realise the potential between them.
The president told the gathering about Pakistan’s recent economic success, saying the country offered a secure and congenial investment climate.
Pakistan had contributed the most to the international fight against terror and if Pakistan had not done enough, nobody had done anything in the anti-terror fight, he added.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said growth in bilateral trade would benefit both countries. He asked Mexican businessmen to make full use of the opportunities offered by Pakistan. app