ISLAMABAD: The United States wants the establishment of infrastructure development in Pakistan on priority bases along with enhanced partnerships with private business community to flourish business activities.
Paul A Brinkley, Deputy Under Secretary of Defence and head of the Task Force on Business and Stability Operation, expressed these views during his address to businessmen in Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday.
He said the US wanted to engage with Pakistan in a long-term and productive dialogue for facilitating local entrepreneurs to build partnerships with international business community and tackle effectively the problems of poverty, unemployment and other challenges.
He said main purpose of their visit to Pakistan was to interact with business community, know their views for building stronger ties between the two friendly countries and to work together for bringing international businessmen closer to their Pakistani counterparts for exploiting business and investment opportunities to strengthen Pakistan’s economy.
Brinkley informed the businessmen that the US has established a separate department in Ministry of Commerce namely, ‘Business Transformation Areas’, which would expand business relation with other allied countries. The department would identify the areas in allied countries, which required special expertise assistance.
He also claimed that commercial partnership with experts in US would be encourage to promote human development
Speaking on the occasion, Saleem H Mandviwalla Chairman, Board of Investment and State Minister for Investment, Government of Pakistan said Pakistan was not like Afghanistan or Iraq as it is a dynamic country blessed with immense human talent and US should help Pakistan in developing skills and expertise of its human resource. He said the purpose of introducing US Task Force on Business and Stability Operation to country’s chambers was to provide them an opportunity to get macro picture of Pakistan’s business environment and explore new opportunities for enhancing investment in different sectors of Pakistan’s economy.
He expressed the hope for more future trips of US task force to facilitate Pakistani businessmen in improving their business skills and strengthening their links with international counterparts.
Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in his welcome address said that US was the largest trading partner of Pakistan, but still the bilateral trade and investment could not reflect the true potential of both countries. He stressed that US should provide easy access to Pakistani products in its markets and rationalize its tariff on Pakistani exports, particularly textile products. Speaking about Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), he said it should be based on the principles of equality and fairness providing reciprocal advantages to Pakistani investors in the US.
He said the US should help Pakistan in exploiting its immense natural energy resources including wind, coal, hydro and solar energy potential which provided cheap energy as compared to thermal power.
About ROZs, he said these should be designed to leverage the power of the private sector to create jobs and promote sustainable economic development. He invited the US investors for collaboration in energy, oil and gas, infrastructure development, agriculture, IT and many other sectors of Pakistan’s economy and for starting joint ventures here.