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Pakistan textile body, US Consulate talk on market access
25
Oct '12
All Pakistan Mills Association (APTMA) and the US Consulate have agreed on a joint working strategy for resolving the issues confronting the industrial growth of Pakistan due to a limited US market access.

This consensus was evolved between the APTMA leadership and the US Consul General Nina Maria Fight at the APTMA House. Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir, Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan and members of Central Management Committee (CMC) were also present on the occasion.

She explained in detail as how US government was helping out Pakistan in energy projects. She said the US was also working on smaller projects with Discos to deal with the problem of efficiency and circular debt. She said there is a need for consistency in policies on the part of Pakistan. 
 
She assured the APTMA leadership of facilitating it in discussion with the Washington on textile tariff lines. 
 
According to her, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was not necessarily a quick process and the government of Pakistan was considering a bilateral investment treaty with the US. The US has given its consent and there is a need to speed up the process in Pakistan, as it would be the first step towards the FTA, she added.
 
On supplying quality cotton seed to Pakistan, the US envoy said that the US firm Monsanto has concerns about the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).
 
According to her, a new visa procedure was in the process on the part of the US in order to simplify the filing process and it is likely to be finalized soon.
 
She also urged the businessmen to keep abreast the US Consulate in case they are not treated well on their visit to the US, assuring of taking any such feedback seriously.
She said she was open to ideas on improvement in bilateral trade relations. She said a structural continuity is required to continue with negotiations of bilateral trade. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, the APTMA central Chairman Ahsan Bashir said that the textile value added industry was not able to compete in the US market due to preferential trade agreement with the competitors. He said Pakistan textile exports were not more than 3% to the US due to limited market access and added that Pakistan exports may reach to $30 billion in three years if raw materials exported to the US are converted to garments. He said the competitors are using Pakistan’s raw materials to export to the US and the West. He further clarified that the garment industry was not energy-intensive therefore energy shortage in Pakistan was not an impediment for the garment industry if the market access is provided with by the US. 
 
Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan said that Pakistan textile industry had no threat from trade opening with India provided that there are no trade and non-tariff barriers from India in place. 
 
The APTMA CMC members also exchanged their views on the occasion.

All Pakistan Mills Association (APTMA)

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