Pakistan urges US to ease travel advisory

Islamabad [Pakistan], Oct.19 : Pakistan has urged the United States to revise its travel advisory pertaining to the country in a bid to promote a softer and more investor-friendly image to American citizens.

This request was put forth by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, during the 8th Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting held on Tuesday.

According to the Express Tribune, the meeting was aimed at securing preferential access to the textile market and an easy-visa regime for exporters of IT-related services to further strengthen trade ties between the two countries.

The US delegation, led by United States Trade Representatives (USTR) Ambassador Michael Froman, included US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale among others.

The Pakistani delegation comprised Commerce Secretary Azmat Ranjha, Commerce Additional Secretary Asad Hayauddin and Trade Minister at Washington DC Ali Tahir.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways and means to improve access of Pakistani exports to the United States, including those of textiles and agricultural items, enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Pakistan, opening up of defence procurement in Afghanistan to Pakistani companies among others.

The United States is Pakistan's largest bilateral trading partner. In FY 2015, Pakistan's exports to all countries were estimated at USD 24.59 billion and its imports at USD 41.43 billion.

In fiscal year 2015, the United States accounted for approximately 16 percent of Pakistan's exports, the second largest market behind the European Union, and USD 1.20 billion of its imports.

Bilateral trade between the United States and Pakistan exceeded USD 5.1 billion. The United States is also one of the top sources of foreign direct investment to Pakistan, with USD 209 million.

Source: ANI