TIFA meeting agreed for follow up engagements to ensure progress: Naveed

ISLAMABAD (APP): Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar said that the meeting of the Pakistan-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Ministerial Council had agreed to have regular follow-up engagements during 2023 to ensure progress on all issues to achieve tangible results, whereas it was also agreed to convene the next TIFA Council Ministerial meeting in Islamabad in early 2024.
In a statement issued here Sunday, the minister said that the meeting reflected the mutual understanding and commitment of Pakistan and United States to pursue a broad-based agenda.
Expressing satisfaction over the high-level dialogues in various sectors including energy, and climate change, the minister said that the series of dialogues reflected that Pakistan was being seen as a sovereign trading partner of the United States.
“United States is an important country for us and we want our relations to further grow in all possible areas,” he added.
Commerce Minister said that he had a fulsome and comprehensive dialogue with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) focusing on a wide spectrum of trade and investment, issues of mutual interest including agriculture, textiles, digital trade, enhancing market access, cooperation on good regulatory practices including intellectual property and labor rights, and women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.
He said that the two sides discussed key issues including enhancing exports of Pakistani mangoes and dates to the US, increased market access for Pakistan’s textiles, increasing US investments in Pakistan’s agriculture sector especially in the development of hybrid, climate-resilient seeds and supporting Pakistan’s IT and tech industry.
Talking about the economic challenges being faced by the country, the minister said that Pakistan has taken tough decisions to revive IMF program.
The minister expressed the hope that with formal approval of revival of the program by IMF Board, the reserves would increase with inflow from friendly countries and international banks. He, however, stated that the revival of the program alone was not a panacea for all ills. “We need structural reforms. Our processes need to be changed,” he remarked.
Naveed Qamar further said that the revival of the dialogue would significantly boost confidence of the business community and would help in providing them with a conducive environment marked by stability and predictability.