ASEAN is a major trading partner of Pakistan with volume of trade reaching an all-time high of US$ 11 billion in 2022. Pakistan’s exports to the ASEAN countries are to the tune of $ 3 billion, whereas the imports were $ 8.8 billion. 90% of Pakistan’s trade is with five ASEAN countries namely, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia.
Pakistan is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN since 1993. The ASEAN-Pakistan Sectoral Dialogue Relations were institutionalized through the convening of First Meeting of the ASEAN-Pakistan Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (APJSCC) on 5 February 1999 in Bali, Indonesia. APJSCC is an institutional mechanism that reviews and sets the agenda for cooperation in agreed sectors.
Pakistan-ASEAN relations have expanded progressively. In March 2019, the two sides agreed to expand cooperation in additional 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 and ASEAN have implemented several cooperation projects. Pakistan established ASEAN-Pakistan Cooperation Fund (APCF) with an initial amount of US$ 1 million in 1994. The Fund is utilized to implement cooperation projects and activities.
Pakistan offers annually 13 seats in the fields of BDS/MBBS and Engineering for students from ASEAN countries under its Pakistan Technical Assistance Program (PTAP).
Established in 1994, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is a key forum for security dialogue in Asia, complementing various bilateral alliances and dialogues. It provides a platform in which members can discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures through confidence-building and preventive diplomacy to enhance peace and security in the region.
Pakistan acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia on 2 July 2004 in Jakarta. On the same day Pakistan was also admitted as the 24th participant of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
Pakistan is the only Sectoral Dialogue Partner that is also a member of ARF, and has been actively participating in various meetings and activities of ARF member countries. Pakistan hosted the ARF Heads of Defense Universities and Institutes Meeting, in 2021.