As part of ongoing efforts to create jobs and economic growth in Pakistan and the United States, both the countries on May 2nd held regular consultations under the US-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The goal of the TIFA meetings is to expand bilateral trade and investment in both goods and services.
According to an official statement issued by the US Embassy, both sides during the meeting discussed ways to improve access for products, such as agricultural goods and medicines, in each other's markets. Additionally, given the growth in the digital economy in both countries, discussions about how to improve services and digital trade between the United States and Pakistan took place.
While both sides desire to strengthen digital trade, the two sides also looked at ways to strengthen intellectual property rights and the business climate in Pakistan. Both sides brought up important topics such as economic empowerment for women, labour reforms, and skill development for workers.
Pakistan concluded the discussions with an update on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Special Economic Zones established under the project to encourage trade.
It is pertinent to mention here trade between the United States and Pakistan hit record highs in 2017 and 2018. In 2018 there was over $6.6 billion trade between the two countries. The United States continues to be Pakistan's largest market for exports. Sixty percent of Pakistan's 208 million population is under the age of 25, representing a large and growing market for goods and services. Pakistanis, in general, favours the US technical expertise and products over other countries.