WASHINGTON - U.S.
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and Pakistan Minister of Finance Shaukat
Aziz signed an agreement today that provides a forum for Pakistan and the United
States to examine ways to expand bilateral trade and investment. Ambassador
Zoellick and Pakistan Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan agreed in a meeting
on June 9 to negotiate the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that
is being signed today.
The TIFA creates
a Joint Council that will consider a wide range of commercial issues and sets
out basic principles underlying the two nations' trade and investment
relationship. The council will establish a permanent dialogue with the
expectation of expanding trade and investment between the United States and
"I am pleased
that we reached agreement on this TIFA while President Musharraf is in
Washington to meet with President Bush. Today's signing marks an important
moment in the U.S. trade and investment relationship with Pakistan," said
strengthens economic ties with an important friend," he added. "I look forward
to working with Minister Khan and Minister Aziz, both bilaterally and through
the Doha Development Agenda, to explore new channels for trade and investment
that will benefit both our peoples."