Published On: Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Published in Category: Islamabad

PTA to boost trade ties among D-8 countries: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has called upon D-8 countries to make headway to finalize Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) among the member countries.

Addressing the D-8 meeting of foreign ministers in Islamabad on Thursday‚ he said this agreement will help boost economic and trade ties among the member countries.

He noted that greater interaction between private sector of the member countries and political will can help us achieve the intra D-8 trade target of five hundred billion dollars by the year 2018.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan intends to expand its trade relations with the member countries.

Referring to the investment opportunities‚ he urged the investors of D-8 countries to consider Pakistan for investment especially in the sectors of energy and agriculture.

“As we are working to grant business preferences and reliefs in customs matters, our government has already installed one of world’s most liberal and business-friendly environment in the country. There are several sectors in the energy, agriculture and agro-based industries, mineral development, transport and engineering sectors which are only waiting to be invested in by the businessmen from your countries”, he said.

He said we are working on a medium term vision 2025 roadmap to transform Pakistan’s economy and address our problem of energy shortage and lead to sustained economic revival and provide better services to people through institutional reforms. We also plan to integrate the region through trade and economic corridors into one large market. With population of 190 million having a large youth segment, the potential for progress is enormous.

Although security has been a challenge, the government is taking decisive actions to restore peace across the country. Many international companies have already begun to take interest by signing agreements for investment in energy, agriculture, IT and telecommunication, textile, he said.

Sartaj Aziz said we believe that D-8 has the potential to become a vehicle for economic development for the D-8 family. We in Islamabad are conscious of the fact that our national economic agenda will be greatly facilitated if we collectively work on the economic development agenda of the D-8. It is,therefore, time that we pool in our resources and synergies, and collaborate by mutually benefitting from our comparative advantages and

common strengths.

“I am sure we are ready to transform our political will and strong commitments into concrete actions. No less than this can help us achieve D-8 trade target of US $500 billion by the year 2018”, he said. We have yet to create permanent mechanisms in our respective governments which generate and sustain the cooperation process. Likewise, there is a need now to take on board the businessmen and entrepreneurs in our countries in order to forge trade and business linkages, he added.
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