ISLAMABAD: United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called on Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce, Industries, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday to discuss ways and means to further enhance trade ties with Islamabad.
I welcome Mr. Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce to Pakistan, and to the MOC, it’s indeed a pleasure meeting him. @ansukhera @SecretaryRoss @pid_gov @aliya_hamza @PTIofficial @ImranKhanPTI @RadioPakistan @PTVNewsOfficial pic.twitter.com/6Pd3KIOyME
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) February 26, 2020
They discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest. They agreed to enhance mutual trade to a maximum level. The visiting US Commerce secretary will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan. Abdul Razak asked Wilbur Ross to convene the meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council to move forward seriously on a number of issues.
As President Trump said this week, “our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one.” I look forward to meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI in Islamabad today on ways to boost trade and investment between the U.S. and Pakistan.
— Sec. Wilbur Ross (@SecretaryRoss) February 26, 2020
The visit by a senior US official follows the recent signing of $3 billion worth defence deal between the US and India during President Trump’s visit to New Delhi.
According to sources, the last meeting of TIFA was held in May 2019 in which both sides had discussed ways to improve access to products, such as agricultural goods and medicines, in each other’s markets.
Pakistan had been keen to explore potential trade concessions as it could import more US cotton in return for preferential US market access for its apparel exports, they added.
A Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA) could be a long-term goal because of complexity involved in the process, sources further said, and added that the TIFA framework provided an institutional mechanism to carry forward those discussions and come up with new ideas.