It is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Pakistan has signed Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with nearly 40 countries. It has also signed ‘Double Taxation Agreements’ with nearly 50 countries.
The country has signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
Moreover the government reserves the power to grant sector-specific duty exemptions, concessions, and protections under Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs), though the use of SROs has decreased during recent years.
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The following documents are required for imports:
Government of Pakistan allows duty-free import of samples (not for commercial use) provided a bank guarantee or indemnity bond is provided to Customs to ensure that the items will be returned.
The same is applicable to the re-export of goods; but with a minimum value-addition of 2.5% over their FOB price.
The retail sector in Pakistan is experiencing impressive growth as global brands and outlets enter the market. Local retailers are also extending their activities to compete with their biggest foreign competitors.
There are two types of mass retailers:
By Road: The road transport network in Pakistan is relatively outdated (built before 1947 during the British Raj), although new motorways are now being constructed. However it is relatively easy to transport goods by road from one place to another within the country.
By sea: The port of Karachi is the most important and the busiest port in the country. It is administered by Karachi Port Trust (KPT). Other ports include ports of Qasima and that of Gwadar. The Pakistani ports have a strategic location in connecting Central Asian countries and the Gulf countries.
By air: Only those foreign air transport companies which have signed an agreement with Pakistani authorities are authorized to work with or in Pakistan. The Pakistani airports belong to the public sector. The airports of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have considerable international activity.
The industrial sector contributes nearly 25% to the GDP.
The major industries are textile production (the biggest earner of foreign exchange), oil refining, metal processing, and cement & fertilizer production.
The automotive industry is one of the emerging industries in Pakistan. There are around 20 automobile/motorcycle manufacturing units in assembling operations.
Further to the privatization of the cement plants, and the recent boom in the construction industry, cement manufacturing is performing very well.
The pharmaceutical sector with a large presence of the main international corporations is a major player now in the country.
The leather goods industry and, to a limited extent, the metal surgical instruments sector, mostly based in Sialkot, are impressive exporters.
To search directories by industry in Pakistan, check out our service Business Directories.
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Latest Update: September 2023