ISLAMABAD - The Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile met under the chairmanship of Siraj Muhammad Khan, MNA, in Parliament House, Islamabad Monday.

The committee was briefed about Pakistan's trade and investment relations with Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean). 

The committee was briefed that the Asean is geopolitical and economic organisation encompassing 10 countries with vastly different stages of developing economies and all sharing immense growth potential.

The committee was further apprised that Asean was a major global hub of manufacturing and trade with huge market worth over $2.6 trillion and collectively seventh largest economy in the world and third largest in Asia.

The committee was informed that currently Pakistan holds observer status however, strategy of bilateral engagement with major Asean countries has been adopted in order to strengthen the case for full dialogue partnership.

The representative of Commerce Division informed that Pakistan had been trading partner with Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.

 and had been exporting cereals, textile articles, cotton, sea food, leather, machinery and other items whereas, palm oil, coffee, rubber, machinery, chemicals were major imports.

Keeping in view the emerging status of Asean as global hub for manufacturing, Pakistan desires to strengthen its relations and was confident to achieve, full dialogue partnership status, the representative added.

The committee appreciated the performance of the ministry in that regard however, directed for accelerating the pace of negotiations at political and ministerial level to achieve the target.

The committee while discussing the performance of trade officers in Pakistan's Trade Missions abroad directed for monitoring of trade officers and exploring potential markets for Pakistani products.

The committee also directed for relocation of trade missions to countries where demand of Pakistani products existed.

The committee expressed its satisfaction on the performance of Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD). The committee recommended for inviting businessmen to share their diverse experience with the under training newly inducted trade officers and officers posted in trade missions abroad. The committee also recommended for expanding training facilities in trade to the private sector.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Minister for Commerce and Textile, MNAs; Ch Asadur Rehman, Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Mian Muhammad Rasheed, Tahira Aurangzeb, Zeb Jaffar, Dr Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharral, Nazir Ahmed Bughio, Sajida Begum, Dr Fouzia Hameed, additional secretaries, commerce and textile divisions and senior officers of the concerned departments.