Dilawar Syed visits LCCI: US official calls for improvement of local business climate – Pakistan

LAHORE: US Special Representative for Trade and Commerce Dilawar Syed says US is Pakistan’s biggest export market and one of Pakistan’s biggest sources of foreign investment .

“We need to capitalize on this potential and nurture even greater and stronger economic ties,” he said in his address to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir delivered the welcome speech while Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan, Vice President Haris Ateeq, Head of Regional Policy, Europe, Central Asia, Pakistan Gaia Self and the head of the political and economic section of the consulate general of the United States in Lahore, Kathleen Gibilisco also spoke on this occasion.

The Independence Day of the United States was celebrated on this occasion.

Dilawar Syed pointed out that more than 80 American companies are already operating in Pakistan. “There is a need to further improve the business environment here as there is huge potential for Pakistani products,” he said.

There is also an urgent need to promote dialogue in all forums, he said. “We hope Pakistan will continue to implement reforms to make it more attractive to global investors.”

The US State Department official said the US administration is exploring concrete ways to improve bilateral relations for the benefit of both countries. “We must seize the opportunity to strengthen trade and economic ties,” he said, adding that the US government is committed to improving those ties.

He was of the view that to capitalize on the potential, Pakistan will need to make its supply chain more resilient. He said that given the huge potential of the Pakistani market and its youthful bulge, there is vast scope for further improvement in trade.

He said the two countries have a decades-long history of economic partnership. Trade and investment cooperation between the United States and Pakistan is an essential and ongoing part of the bilateral relationship.

Pakistan’s private sector should play a leading role in cementing mutual trade and economic ties and should establish most modern and high-tech industries to gain a greater share of international trade, he said.

The adviser to the US President said the United States continues to encourage Pakistan to improve the business climate to enable US companies to invest, operate and create jobs in Pakistan. American companies can introduce new technologies and generate returns that translate into higher incomes for local workers and capital for additional investments.

He said that various American companies are already operating in Pakistan and want to expand their operations together with their Pakistani counterparts.

The LCCI President said Pakistanis are proud of the fact that Pakistani nationals play an active role in American society at almost every level.

He said Punjab’s contribution to the country’s GDP is 50% and the province accounts for half of its population. This basically means that the current macro-economic challenges such as devaluation, inflation and trade deficit are having a profound impact on the economy of Punjab.

He said potential areas where Pakistan and the United States can enter into joint ventures include agricultural technology, minerals and mining, pharmaceuticals, leather, light engineering (e.g. instruments surgical), processed food, financial services, retail, poultry and meat.

Nauman Kabir said renewable energy is another important area for industrial cooperation. “We want to start manufacturing solar panels in Pakistan and this is possible with the support of the United States.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022