Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Towards Southeast Asia: Implications for Trade and Economic Development

Key Points:

  • Pakistan’s interaction with great powers during the Cold War prevented it from joining a third-world regional organisation such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • Pakistan acts as a gateway to the landlocked South, West, and Central Asian countries, collectively comprising an enormous economic market of 2.38 billion people.
  • Pakistan has a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Indonesia and a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia.
  • In 2023, Pakistan’s collective bilateral trade with Southeast Asian states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, reached $8.6 billion.

Dr. Tauseef Javed

Tauseef Javed works at the Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research (CSCR) as a Senior Research Associate. He has completed his Ph.D. from Fujian Normal University in Fuzhou, China. His research focuses on US economic aid policy toward Pakistan, international relations, history, and area studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. He can be reached at

Usman Ali

Usman Ali is a graduate of International Relations from the National University of Modern Languages, NUML, Islamabad. His research interests include the affairs of the South Asian countries. He currently serves as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research.

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