The renewal of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Pakistan by the United States will help boost two-way trade, officials said at a convention hosted by the Pakistan Embassy for the Pakistani American community.
The second such convention was part of efforts by Pakistan’s envoy to the U.S., Jalil Abbas Jilani, to share economic and security development in South Asia’s second-biggest economy with Pakistani American community members from across the United States.
Presentations were made on Pakistan’s economic conditions and on the fight against terrorism which has led to the improved economic activity and financial stability.
The U.S. GSP for Pakistan was reauthorized on June 29 this year and will remain in force until 2017. The status was lapsed in 2013. At the time, Pakistan’s exports under GSP were $225 million, accounting for 5 percent of the total exports to the United States of around $3.68 billion.
Under the GSP status, certain goods are allowed duty-free entry into US markets.
Pakistani and U.S. officials apprised the participants of the current status of bilateral trade which is nearly $6 billion. The balance of trade is in favor of Pakistan whose top 20 exports are textile and apparel based.
Pakistan and the United States are currently discussing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), and Preferential Access for Pakistan on select favorable lines of export.
The two sides agreed on a Joint Action Plan in May last year to expand bilateral trade and investment over the next five years.
Major trade shows are held in the U.S. to promote Pakistani products. Among them are the “Florida International Medical Exposition”, “Tex World for Buyers of Textiles” in New York, MAGIC Show at Las Vegas, showcasing textiles and apparel and National Restaurant Association show held in Chicago.
Currently as many as 67 U.S. companies are among some 800 global multinational companies operating in Pakistan. These include big names such as Pepsi, Coca Cola, Abbot, Dupont, Gillette, Chevron, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Dunkin Donuts, Johnson & Johnson, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, JP Morgan, Microsoft, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut.