The Special 301 Report of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) states that due to several changes in the past 12 months to the IP approach of the Pakistan Government and to the immediate implementation of several requirements, Pakistan has been moved from the USTR Priority Watch list to the USTR Watch list.
This was done due to the following changes:
- The Pakistan Government has made significant efforts to implement key provisions of the IPO of Pakistan according to the Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2012;
- It has established and appointed IP Tribunals in different regions in Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore;
- It has established a timeline for the amendment of major IPR laws;
- It took immediate measures to implement the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) IP Enforcement Rules;
- It has established public awareness programs on IPR protection, and
- The Pakistan Government has committed to continue regular action-oriented engagement with the United States and stakeholders.
This development came with great satisfaction to the Government of Pakistan and to the entire Pakistan business community. Exporters now will be able to benefit from the Generalized Scheme of Preferences meaning that in most cases a 0% customs duty will be owned.
Due to this implementation, it is expected that the confidence of the International Business world will also increase and new foreign investments will flow in to Pakistan, along with the overall approval of the international business community generating growth of export of Pakistan products in several other markets.
The risk of the countries remaining on the USTR priority list is that of being degraded to a Priority Foreign Country with the consequence of not being able to avail GSP concession for their exports to the US.
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