Private sector growth vital for democracy: US envoy
Says US want strong trade ties with Pak businessmen
From Our Correspondent
SIALKOT: US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson has said the US is the largest investor in Pakistan and it is supporting businessmen to promote business and trade activities.
Addressing businessmen and exporters during his visit to a leading local soccer ball manufacturing firm here on Wednesday, Richard Olson said private sector growth was important for democracy. He said vibrant business community of Sialkot had opportunities to work with American companies which had further strengthened ties between both the countries. He said he visited Sialkot’s privately run airport and was impressed by the airport’s efficiency and the amount of cargo and passengers. He added the airport was clearly an example for other cities across the country. He said Sialkot represented new focus of US economic relationship with Pakistan. He said the US was focusing on trade with Pakistan. Richard Olson said private sector growth was important for democracy. He said talented Pakistani entrepreneurs had the potential to lead Pakistan’s economic growth and many already were doing so. Richard Olson said the US recognise that a vibrant private sector is important for Pakistan’s democratic future. He said the US congratulated many entrepreneurs in Sialkot and across Pakistan as they had built up their private sector. He said trade between Pakistan and the US was more than $5 billion in 2011 and Pakistan exported more products to the US than to any other country in the world. He said the US purchased almost 20 per cent of Pakistan’s exports last year. “We see great potential in the millions of entrepreneurs and businesses across Pakistan, and we are encouraging American and Pakistani companies to do more business with each other”, he added. He said United States was helping to strengthen the private sector in Pakistan by supporting Pakistani entrepreneurs. Earlier, Richard Olson and other guests visited different parts of the firm. Later on, he visited the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Sheikh Jahangir Iqbal, former Presidents of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Kh Zaka-ud-din, Khawar Anwar Khawaja and Dr Khurram Khawaja, Rafique Sethi and others were also present.