ISLAMABAD, Oct 17 (APP): The 8th Pakistan – US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting is being held here on October 18.

The US delegation will be led by Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (USTR).It would include Ambassador David Hale, Matthew Vogel, Deputy USTR and Michael Delaney, AUSTR and Ms. Zeba Reyazuddin, Director South & Central Asia, USTR among others, a statement of the Ministry of Commerce issued here Monday

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

The TIFA was signed by Pakistan & USA in 2003.

The 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.

In the upcoming meeting, the two sides will discuss, ways and means to improve access of Pakistani exports to the United States, including textiles, agricultural, and other products, enforcement of intellectual Property Rights in Pakistan, Dispute Resolution mechanisms, opening up of defense procurement by US Government in  Afghanistan to Pakistani companies, holding the next Business Opportunities Conference in Pakistan, and other matters.

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 to provide businesses from both sides to connect freely and also put an end to discrimination against Pakistan, which puts us at a competitive disadvantage for exports to the US, vis a vis other countries in the region and the rest of the world”, the Commerce Ministry statement said.