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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce, Naveed Qamar Friday informed the National Assembly that bilateral trade between Pakistan and the US during the last financial year (2021-22) was recorded at $10.5 billion compared to $7.8 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21 registering an increase of 38.3 percent.

In a written reply to a question, he said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and the US witnessed an increase of over 38.3 percent and touched $10.5 billion during the last fiscal year.

He said that as a result of the Commerce Ministry’s efforts, it is expected that exports to the US will continue to grow in the coming years.

He said that the ministry is actively engaged with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to get further market access for Pakistani agricultural goods i.e. mangoes and dates.

He said that regular engagement is maintained with the private and public sectors of the US through our Trade and Investment Officers (TIOs), adding additionally, various promotional activities are held through the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and our TIOs in the US.

Answering a supplementary question, the Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Javed Ali Shah, told the house during question hour that “we are actively engaged with the US to get further market access for Pakistani agricultural goods including mangoes and dates”.

He was confident that our exports to the US will continue to grow in the coming years, adding Pakistan is negotiating a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to get market access for goods and services.

He said that Pakistan is also engaged with Saudi Arabia under the ambit of the Supreme Coordination Council to enhance exports to the Kingdom.

In another written reply to the house, Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq said that an amount of loans taken by the government i.e. disbursements of foreign loans from August 2018 to December 2021 is $43.047 billion.

Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi said that a new system is being introduced for Central Superior Service (CSS) examination from January next year.

He said that under the system approved by the federal cabinet, the candidates will have to appear in an entry test before the CSS examination.

He said the upper age limit for appearing in the CSS examination is 30 years but the candidates belonging to Balochistan, Rural Sindh, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir have been given a relaxation of four years. Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel moved “the Pakistan Nursing Council (Amendment) Bill, 2022” for joint-sitting of Parliament for passage as passed by the National Assembly and not passed by Senate within 90 days.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi moved “the State-Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Bill, 2022” for joint-sitting of the Parliament for passage as the bill passed by the National Assembly and not passed by the Senate within 90 days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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