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Pakistan Bilateral Trade Agreements

Pakistan and the United States began negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement (ILO) in 2004 and concluded the text in 2012, but the agreement was not signed due to reservations from Pakistani stakeholders. Pakistan has bilateral investment agreements with Australia, Azerbaijan, Mauritius, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Morocco, Belarus, the Netherlands, Belgo-Luxemburg Economic Union, Oman, Philippines, Bosnia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Qatar, Cambodia, Romania, China, Singapore, Czech Republic, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Spain, Egypt, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Indonesia, Syria, Iran, Tajikistan, Italy, Japan , Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait, U.A.E, Kyrgyzstan, United Kingdom, Lebanon, These investment agreements contain ordinary dispute settlement provisions. If a dispute cannot be resolved through mutual consultation, investors can generally bring cases before an arbitration tribunal under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the International Centre for Investment Litigation of the World Bank or the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Pakistan is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an arm of the World Bank. Pakistan and the United States signed a Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment (TIFA) in 2003 that provides a forum to discuss bilateral trade issues. The last TIFA meeting for dissensons took place in May 2019 in Islamabad. Pakistan has a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka, China and Malaysia. Pakistan is also part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and has preferential trade agreements with Iran, Indonesia and Mauritius. In the United States and Pakistan, a bilateral tax treaty has been in place since 1959. Pakistan has also entered into double taxation agreements with Austria, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Mauritius, Poland, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, China, France, Greece, Iran, Japan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Sweden, Belarus, Hungary, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, India , Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Azerbaijan and Turkey. While Pakistan`s economy has considerable potential, business costs, complex regulatory constraints and infrastructure constraints are detrimental to trade and growth. Pakistan`s trade regime and regulatory environment remain relatively restrictive.

Bilateral trade relations between the EU and Pakistan are governed by the 2004 Cooperation Agreement. The promotion of bilateral trade and bilateral investment is also part of the EU-Pakistan Five-Year Commitment Plan from 2012. The EU and Pakistan have set up a trade subgroup to promote the development of trade between the two sides. The Trade subgroup, created under the aegis of the EU-Pakistan Joint Commission, is the forum for discussion of wider trade developments and also aims to address individual market access issues that hinder trade between the two sides.