ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said that US is an important trade partner of Pakistan and all avenues should be explored in order to accrue maximum opportunities and benefits for our exporters.

He said this while chairing a meeting to review bilateral economic and trade related matters between Pakistan and US. Secretary Commerce Qasim Niaz briefed the Finance Minister on current status of the Pak-US strategic dialogue on expansion of trade relations. He informed the Finance Minister that with the resumption of strategic dialogue, the opportunities are available for expansion in trade relations between the two countries. He informed the Finance Minister that Commerce Ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is preparing proposals, for the next round of trade talks with the US.

The Finance Minister said that the US is an important trade partner of Pakistan and all avenues should be explored in order to accrue maximum opportunities and benefits for our exporters. He said that as the US is largest importer of textile products therefore, we should also lay special focus on textile and textile related exports.

Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir, Miftah Ismail, Chairman BoI, SA to PM Tariq Fatmi, Advisor to Finance Ministry Rana Assad Amin and senior officials of the government also attended the meeting.

In other development, Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of the Committee formed by the Prime Minister to resolve long-standing trade issues between Pakistan and Russia.

Secretary Commerce Qasim Niaz  briefed the Committee that there is a lot of potential in enhancing trade relations between the two countries. He said that as directed by the Prime Minister, the Commerce Ministry is trying its level best for resolving the 15 years old trade related financial disputes. He said that we are engaged with all the stakeholders including Russian Government and trade community of Pakistan to facilitate the process of resolution of outstanding issue. He informed the Committee that the parties to the dispute have expressed their inclination for early settlement of the dispute.

The Finance Minister expressed his desire for expeditious removal of the impasse, which is hampering trade relations between the two countries. He said that the political leadership has expressed its resolve to overcome the issues and take forward trade relations with Russia. He said that there are positive vibes from Russian side for investment in railways and steel manufacturing industry. He emphasised that we need to move on fast track for resolution of this outstanding financial dispute enabling Russian investors to bring in their capital to Pakistan and explore the areas in which they can help. Finance Minister directed Secretary Commerce, Chairman BOI, SA to PM to hold meeting with the stakeholders and present final report before the Committee within a week.