QIZ to be set up at Pak-Afghan border

Daily Times (Pakistan)

21 August 2005

QIZ to be set up at Pak-Afghan border

By Sajid Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been informed that Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon submit a joint proposal for establishment of Qualified Industrial Zone at Pak-Afghan Border to export to the United States of America, an official told Daily Times on Saturday.

The Qualified Industrial Zone where the investors of both the countries would be facilitated to set up industries and the products of such industries would be exported to United States.

According to the proposal, the US government will be asked to allow the imports from the QIZ on "Zero Duty" to enable generate healthy economic activities in the Pak-Afghan border areas so that poverty, and especially involvement of the local population in terrorist activities, could be checked, giving them law full earning opportunities.

The proposal also contains that benefit arising out of establishing QIZ at Pak Afghan Border would be distributed among the two states, 80 percent to Pakistan and 20 percent to Afghanistan.

The QIZ will provide job opportunities to thousands of locals and will be helpful in bringing these areas into the main streamline.

The official said the IMF mission that is in Pakistan for the "Annual Article -IV Consultations" review of Pakistan’s economy during the last fiscal 2004-05 and projections for the fiscal year 2005-06, was also informed about the developments relating Pak-USA Trade.

The Pakistani Authorities informed the IMF mission that since the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and USA was a long process, the government of Pakistan has asked the government of the United States for establishment of QIZ.

The State Department is interested in the proposal and has asked Pakistan to jointly float the proposal along with government of Afghanistan. Pakistan has already taken up this issue with the Afghan government and is in a process of finalizing the joint proposal. As soon as the joint proposal is ready, it will be submitted to the US State Department for finalizing the other modalities.

The IMF mission was also informed that the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is being discussed between USA and Pakistan, two rounds of BIT negotiations have been held. Last week three video-conferences between Pakistan and USA on BIT were held. There is a basic understanding on the concept and the details are being discussed further. On the issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), the IMF mission was informed that the government of the United States had some concerns about the IPR violations in Pakistan and were asking the Ministry of Commerce to take action against eight companies involved in pirated disc business.

The government of Pakistan has taken action against such companies. The Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Origination (PIPRO) has been established to enforce the IPR laws and take action against any violation of IPR law in the country.

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source: Daily Times