PPI | Friday September 8, 2006
Pakistan-US Talks on Bilateral Investment Treaty Next Month
KARACHI, Sept 8 Asia Pulse - Pakistan and the United States will hold the fifth round of negotiations on the draft Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) early next month in a bid to develop consensus on the remaining disputed clauses of the agreement.
Officials told here on Wednesday that a high-level delegation led by the assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) would arrive here in the first week of October to negotiate the treaty for its early finalisation. A high-level meeting headed by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was held here on Wednesday to finalise Pakistan’s position on the treaty. The meeting was attended by all the relevant stakeholders.
According to the officials, the BIT was expected to be concluded in March 2006 during the visit of US President George W. Bush to Pakistan, but due to failure of the two sides to develop consensus at the technical level on some clauses of the agreement, it was deferred.
The issues to be discussed in the upcoming meeting included the definition of some key terms, scope of the treaty, effective implementation of intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws in Pakistan, extent of indirect expropriation and compensation mechanism, the non-confirming issues, taxation and tariff on US investment and regulatory issues, extent of subjects for arbitration and performance requirements in the light of the World Trade Organisation, added the officials.