Islamabad - The 8th Pakistan–US Trade & Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting is to be held in Islamabad tomorrow (Tuesday).

A statement issued here on Sunday said that the two sides would discuss, ways and means to improve access of Pakistani exports to the United States, including those of textiles, agricultural items, besides enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Pakistan, dispute resolution mechanisms, opening up of defence procurement in Afghanistan to Pakistani companies, holding the next business opportunities conference in Pakistan and other matters in the upcoming meeting.

TIFA was signed between Pakistan & USA in 2003. TIFA Council is the apex body tasked with developing trade and investment relations between Pakistan & the United States, and resolving outstanding issues between the two countries.

The US delegation will be led by Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (USTR) at the meeting, and will include Ambassador David Hale, Matthew Vogel, Deputy USTR & Michael Delaney, AUSTR & Zeba Reyazuddin, Director South & Central Asia, USTR among others.

The Pakistani delegation will be led by Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan, and will include Secretary Commerce Azmat Ranjha, Additional Secretary Commerce Asad Hayauddin and Trade Minister at Washington DC Ali Tahir.

The Pakistani side will apprise the visiting delegation about the improved economic & security situation in the country, and the pressing need for the US government to revisit its travel advisories regime for US businessmen, as the most critical step towards improving bilateral trade & investment. The trade volume between the two countries has not been growing in accordance with its potential. It is now time to review these advisories in order to provide businessmen from both sides an opportunity to connect freely.

“It is also the time to put an end to discrimination against Pakistan, which puts the country at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis the US and other countries in the region and beyond in terms of exports,” the statement concluded.