ASEAN-Pakistan Relations

Pakistan became Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1993. It signed Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) with ASEAN in 2004 and became member of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) the same year. The sectors that cover the Sectoral Partnership include trade, industry, investment, environment, science and technology, drugs and Narcotics, tourism and human resources development.

The ASEAN-Pakistan Sectoral Dialogue Relations were institutionalised through the convening of the First Meeting of the ASEAN-Pakistan Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (APJSCC) on 5 February 1999 in Bali. APJSCC is institutional mechanism for discussing and expanding cooperation in agreed sectors with ASEAN. So far six meetings of APJSCC have been held; last being in 2017.  In March 2019, the two sides have agreed to expand cooperation in a whole range of areas including Counter terrorism, Violent Extremism and Transnational Crimes, Economic cooperation, Food and Agriculture, Science and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Tourism, Disaster Management, Culture, Human Resource Development, Connectivity, Narrowing Development Gap and initiative for ASEAN integration.

Pakistan established ASEAN-Pakistan Cooperation Fund (APCF) for US$ 1 million, under which up till now eleven projects have been carried out. Current balance is around US $ 850,000. Pakistan should also utilize this fund to undertake various projects in agreed sectors of cooperation to increase interaction and visibility with ASEAN. The Mission has also shared a few concrete projects including the one dealing with training for ASEAN diplomats at the Foreign Service Academy. Our side needs to be seen proactively engaging ASEAN and these projects could be helpful in this regard.

 

Pakistan- ASEAN trade in 2018 stood at around US $ 8.2 billion with trade balance highly in favour of the ASEAN member countries. On human resources development, Pakistan offers annual several fully funded scholarships in information technology, banking, engineering and medicine for students from ASEAN Member States under the PTAP and other programs.