ISLAMABAD – The Board of Investment (BoI) MOS/Chairman Saleem H. Mandviwalla has stated that Pakistan and United States are going to seal a long-awaited Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) on the sidelines of UNGA session in September 2012.

A 6-member US negotiating team met Board of Investment on 27-28th August to discuss unresolved issues of considerable importance to conclude the BIT. Pak-US BIT started in 2004 and continued till 2006 but remained unresolved.

After five years deadlock, the Board of Investment took the initiative to restart the negotiation process in 2011. A number of video conferences with Washington took place to iron out the differences. Consultation with local stakeholders also picked up momentum to firm up Pakistan's position on different issues. In March 2012, Pakistan and US initialed the treaty and continued on discussing Non-Conforming Measures (NCMs) to be attached with the treaty text as its integral part.

The US is the largest investor in Pakistan and conclusion of BIT will further cement economic and investment relations. BIT is a commitment to reciprocally promote and protect the investment thereby; Pakistani investment in US will also get the reciprocity under international law.

The MOS/Chairman BoI is confident that the two-day discussions and negotiations would resolve all outstanding issues paving way for signing the treaty as scheduled. He further added that signing of BIT will lead to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries resulting in market access with furtherance of exports to US markets and more investment from US.