Pakistan refuses to accept US model on investment treaty

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The News | 13 March 2015

Pakistan refuses to accept US model on investment treaty

by Mehtab Haider

Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan had refused to accept US model on Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) after detailed review undertaken under Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and decided to prepare Pakistan’s own template on BIT agreement.

“We have rejected US model on BIT because it possessed certain dangerous clauses related to Pakistan’s trade and investment trust,” he added.He expressed these views while addressing a news conference along with secretary commerce here on Thursday.

The minister said that Pakistan decided to file writ petition first time in last 36 years under GSP to include more items into the list with the objective to boost exports of Pak made ups as there were indication that US Congress would authorise renewal of GSP status in coming summer seasons. “The US related GSP is not Pakistan specific as 127 countries will be getting benefits after re-authorisation of Congress,” said the minister.

The minister further said that the US-Pak Business Opportunities Conference remained successful as US companies took decision to expand their investment in the country and cited that Coca Cola would increase its investment by $350 million here in Pakistan.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Dr Tauqir Shah, a Grade-20 DMG officer, as Pakistan’s Ambassador to World Trade Organisation (WTO), and formal notification to this effect will be issued soon.

“The Ministry of Commerce will issue the notification for appointment of Dr Tauqir Shah as Pakistan’s permanent representative after getting endorsement from the WTO on his appointment,” Khurram Dastgir Khan said

When journalists inquired whether he was not yet given visa by the EU to newly appointed Pakistan’s ambassador on charges of alleged violation of human rights, the secretary commerce replied that Dr Tauqir Shah had already obtained visa and he would fly to his destination in next a couple of days.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that the government appointed Dr Shah purely on merit.On appointment of Pakistan’s trade officers abroad, the minister said that the process ofappointment would kick-start as advertisements would be given very soon.

According to US Embassy statement issued here on Thursday, senior officials from the governments of the United States and Pakistan met on March 12 in Islamabad under the auspices of the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

The officials reviewed progress under the bilateral Joint Action Plan, a plan created by President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2013 to boost two-way trade and investment. Specifically, the two parties discussed trade promotion efforts, entrepreneurship, diversification of agriculture, intellectual property rights, initiatives to boost investment, and workers’ rights, the statement concluded.

source: The News