US assures Pakistan of softening travel advisory

Islamabad urges Washington to make investment in food technology

​ Our Correspondent July 27, 2019
Imran Khan and Donald Trump in the Oval Office. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The United States has assured Pakistan that it will soften its travel advisory, enabling Islamabad to attract foreign investors. A travel advisory is a formal warning issued by a government or international organisation, which advises caution to travellers going to specified countries due to various reasons.

The US had imposed the travel advisory, which is hurting the economy of Pakistan.

Talking to journalists on Friday, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said the US was going to soften the travel advisory on Pakistan. “I have discussed this matter with my counterpart during the US visit and he has assured me that they will look into this matter,” the PM’s close aide said, adding, “I came to know that they are going to be soft on this issue.”

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Dawood said if the US withdrew its travel advisory, then Pakistan would be able to initiate business activities with America. Pakistan had requested the US to make investment in the country, especially in food technology, as there were vast opportunities in the sector, he said.

He revealed that both the countries had agreed to hold a meeting on the Trade and Investment Framework this year to explore business opportunities in Pakistan.

He said the Pakistani side requested them to give market access for textile and leather products as textile was not included in the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) facility, which America had granted to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Washington is interested in exporting meat, cotton and soybean besides making investment in gas and electricity sectors, he added.

US President Donald Trump also expressed the desire to increase trade with Pakistan but he did not give the number. However, the two sides agreed to enhance trade gradually, he added.

The adviser disclosed that six American delegations would visit Pakistan over the next five months and they were very keen to invest in the country. “Pakistan did not ask for aid but requested them to increase trade and bilateral relations,” he remarked.

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At present, both the countries have more than $6 billion worth of trade, of which Pakistan’s exports to the US stand at $3.8 billion whereas US exports to Pakistan amount to $2.9 billion.

Replying to a question, the PM adviser said “we did not discuss the matter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif with a Qatari delegation during the stay in Qatar and also ruled out a meeting with any businessman there.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2019.

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