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United States and Pakistan Sign MOU on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Announce Joint Action Plan on Improving Bilateral Trade and Investment Flows

Washington, D.C. – Senior representatives of the governments of the United States and Pakistan met today as the U.S.-Pakistan Trade and Investment Council, established under the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  The United States and Pakistan announced agreement on a Joint Action Plan to expand bilateral trade and investment flows over the next five years and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on women’s economic empowerment.

“Trade with Pakistan supports good-paying jobs in the United States and is a key part of our effort to unlock opportunity for American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. Our trade relationship also provides tremendous benefits to the people of Pakistan as they grow their economy and move into the future. I am encouraged by the progress made in today’s U.S.-Pakistan Trade and Investment Council Meeting.” Ambassador Froman said. “The announcement of agreement on a Joint Action Plan to improve bilateral trade and investment as well as the signing of the MOU on women’s economic empowerment underscores the strong and growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan on trade and investment issues and signifies monumental progress for Pakistani women.”

Among the goals and areas of cooperation included in the Joint Action Plan are:

-          diversifying agricultural production

-          promoting intellectual property protection

-          implementing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement

-          seeking Pakistan’s accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement

-          conducting outreach to U.S. state and local governments

-          enhancing entrepreneurship;

-          increasing dialogue between the U.S. and Pakistani private sectors

Background

Ambassador Froman and Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Khan discussed and agreed on a Joint Action Plan to expand bilateral trade and investment flows over the next five years.  President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif instructed senior officials to develop the Joint Action Plan after their meeting in October 2013.

Ambassador Froman and Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Khan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Efforts to Enable the Economic Empowerment of Women and to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship.  This is an historic MOU that will allow both governments to pursue the joint objectives of promoting the economic empowerment of Pakistani women, developing women entrepreneurs, and ensuring that women are afforded economic and business opportunities.

On the margins of the TIFA Council Meeting, private sector representatives from the United States and Pakistan met to discuss opportunities and challenges in the textiles and apparel sectors, as well as the information and communications technologies sector.