Islamabad, March 29, 2017 (PPI-OT):Pakistan has been invited to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This was said by Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan in meeting with high level Bahrain delegation led by H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Kingdom of Bahrain.
Welcoming the visiting delegates, the minister said that Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with Bahrain and appreciated the participation of delegation in the Second Pakistan-Bahrain Business Opportunities Conference. The honourable minister for commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan supported the idea of concluding a Free Trade Agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), that comprise of Six countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Dastagir directed the officials of commerce ministry to send the text of Framework Agreement to GCC immediately.
Mr. Dastagir maintained that Pakistan-Bahrain second business opportunities conference that are starting from tomorrow in Islamabad and which will be co-chaired by commerce ministers from Pakistan and Bahrain would certainly pave way for exploration of more business opportunities and enhancement of trade between the two countries.
In 2015-16, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bahrain was US$ 143.10 million including US$ 66.47 million exports from Pakistan and US$ 76.63 million imports from Bahrain. “The two apex chambers (BCCI and FPCCI) need to devise a short-term road map for trade enhancement which should commensurate with our fraternal ties, added the minister.
Mr. HE Zayed R. Alzayani appreciated the commerce minister for hospitality and warm welcome and invited Pakistan for concluding FTA with GCC to boost trade. He also stressed on making the Strategic Committee functional. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani also invited Pakistan to hold food and cultural festivals in Bahrain.
Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan welcomed the invitation of his counterpart and said that Pakistan may hold a food and cultural festival in Bahrain in October this year and also invited Bahrain to hold and participate in Trade Exhibitions in Pakistan and exchange business delegations. Mr. Dastagir maintained that to enhance trade between the two countries non-tariff barriers and some tariff barriers needs to be removed and that Bahrain should ease the business visa process to encourage more business to business interaction.
“Pak-Bahrain Joint Business Council (JBC) meetings should be held on regular basis”, said Dastagir. The JBC was set up in 2007 and its first meeting was held in September, 2016. Earlier, the delegation called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan and also visited the Board of Investment (BOI), Pakistan.
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