ISLAMABAD: United States of America considers Pakistan an important country of this region and wants to further deepen and expand its trade, investment and economic relations with Pakistan because we believe that strong business relations are vital to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable relations between the two countries.
This was said by Ms. Sarah M. Beran, Counselor for Economic Affairs of US Embassy while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry Saturday.
She was accompanied by Ms. Susan Mecfee, Deputy Economic Counselor and Mr. Alexander Tatsis of Economic Affairs Section.
Ms. Sarah said USA also wants to help Pakistan in energy sector and entrepreneurship development as progress in these areas could put Pakistan on the path of better economic growth. She said Pakistan is a potential market for entrepreneurs as US-based companies Shell and Procter & Gamble are doing good business here. However, she stressed that Pakistani private sector should push for further regulatory reforms that are needed to foster greater trade and investment opportunities
She was optimistic that resumption of Pak-USA strategic dialogue would pave way for faster, deeper, boarder and more comprehensive partnership between the two countries. She said US Embassy’s program “Journey to Prosperity” is aimed at promoting entrepreneurs in Pakistan and we want to further strengthen our collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry for entrepreneurship development with major focus on youth and women empowerment. The purpose of our visit is to discuss ways & means to work together in this area.
In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry lauded the US efforts for cooperating with Pakistan in energy, education and other sectors. He said cooperation in trade, investment and private sector growth should be the main focus of both countries as they can achieve much better mutually beneficial results by developing collaboration in these areas.
He said the bilateral trade of over US$ 5-billion is far less than the potential of two countries while there is lot of scope of Pakistani textiles in USA. He said US should include more Pakistani textile products in its GSP Plus scheme so that its people could avail premium quality textile products of Pakistan. He said Pakistan offers attractive joint ventures and investment opportunities in different sectors of its economy including power sector, mineral resources, high-tech machinery, infrastructure, engineering, telecommunication, iron and steel, railways, construction etc. and US investors should come to Pakistan to explore these areas for investment.
Zafar Bakhtawari said after the successful conduction of Pak-US business conferences in London and Dubai another such conference should be organized in Islamabad so that more businessmen of two countries could interact and explore new avenues of mutual cooperation.
He also appreciated US Embassy’s support to ICCI for entrepreneurship development and hoped that the two organizations would continue to work together for developing the next generation of entrepreneurs in Pakistan that will also help in bringing the two countries further closer.