The News | Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Pakistan wants talks on FTA: Gilani
By Asim Yasin
FRANKFURT: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday sought Germany’s support in remodelling the GSP Plus regime and to include countries badly hit by terrorism.
Addressing the Fifty Years of Bilateral Investment Treaties Conference, he said: “We are looking forward to early commencement of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.”
Gilani said Pakistan had the honour of being the first country with which Germany entered into such an arrangement.
He said Pakistan and Germany signed a new investment treaty to redefine and upgrade their economic relationship in the 21 century.
He said the new instrument was more investment-friendly. “It builds upon our long-standing corporate relations. And takes them into a new era of mutually-beneficial collaboration.”
He said Germany was Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the European Union and the eighth largest source of foreign investment in Pakistan. “German companies are well established in Pakistan.”
Gilani said Pakistan was keen to have preferential access to the European markets. He said Pakistan was a market of 170 million and at strategic location, at the crossroads of China, the Middle East and Central Asia, with a Free Trade Agreement with China and several in the pipeline. “All the sectors of our economy are open to business.” Presenting Pakistan as an ideal destination for investment, he said in the country, one could start business without approval or sanction on 100 per cent equity basis. “Foreign investments are given national treatment and remain fully protected by the law,” he added.