Australia-Pakistan holds Joint Trade Committee Meeting in Canberra – Australia to assist in Human Resource Development

Islamabad: The third meeting of Pakistan-Australia Joint Trade Committee was held in Canberra on 20th March 2012. Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, led the Pakistan’s delegation in the meeting which also included Mr. Tariq Puri, Chief Executive, Trade Development Authority and High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr. Abdul Malik Abdullah. Mr. Paul Grigson, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), led the Australian side comprising senior officials of DFAT, Treasury, Biosecurity Australia, AusAID and AusTrade, in the session.

Pakistan-Australia Joint Trade Committee was established under the bilateral Trade Agreement of 1990, to oversee and foster ever stronger commercial and economic links between the two countries. The previous meetings of JTC were held alternatively in Australia and Pakistan in 2006 and 2010.

After taking cognizance of enormous economic challenges faced by Pakistan due to the devastating floods of last two consecutive years and because of its frontline role in war against terrorism, the JTC discussed numerous ways and means for expansion of cooperation in multifaceted fields including grant of greater access to Pakistani products to the Australian market, promotion of Australian joint ventures and enhanced investment in Pakistan, capacity building of Pakistani professionals and expertise in diverse sectors with particular emphasis in agricultural sector like post-harvest value addition, dairy products, livestock, water management, and training of trainers..

Australia has recently completed the risk assessment processes for import of Pakistani mangoes and would be considering similar processes for Pakistan’s apples, citrus fruit and fisheries. Australia has significantly increased its development assistance to Pakistan in the recent years. The meeting acknowledged the success of Pakistan-Australia Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme. The cooperation in the education sector, especially grant of higher number of scholarships also came under consideration.

Due to its strategic location, vast market, liberal investment policy, untapped natural resources and developing agro-dairy sectors, Pakistan offers lucrative investment opportunities to the corporate entities in the agriculture and mining fields.

The JTC considered the conclusion of a number of proposed agreements like signing of a new MoUon revision of present bilateral Trade Agreement and a bilateral Investment Treaty. A range of proposals to boost the two-way trade and investment were also discussed at the meeting. The JTC also reviewed progress on the decisions taken at the previous meetings. It was agreed that time bound targets would be set for making progress on all the trade and economic matters of mutual interest.

For more information, contact:
Ministry of Commerce
Mr. Iftikhar Ali Qureshi,
ACS/Incharge Computer Section,
Tel: 051-9208692,