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US launches initiative to boost US-Pak trade

November 17, 2022

ISLAMABAD: In honour of Global Entrepreneurship Week, US Ambassador Donald Blome joined by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha to formally launch a United States’ government-led initiative to enhance the US-Pakistan bilateral trade.

The United States has long been Pakistan’s largest export market, with potential for further growth. According to the US Census Bureau, the United States imported nearly $5.3 billion in Pakistani goods in 2021, and US investments in Pakistan went up by 50 percent in the past year.

The Investment Promotion Activity (IPA), implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is a five-year project that will help strengthen Pakistan’s business environment, build the capacity of Pakistani institutions focused on investment promotion, attract foreign direct investment and increase US-Pakistan bilateral trade and investment. Overall, the project aims to reduce barriers

to investment and trade by improving Pakistan’s investment promotion capabilities. The project will also provide grants to firms registeredin Pakistan that are interested in enhancing trade with the United States and have the potential to attract foreign direct investments.

These grants will play a critical role in connecting Pakistani firms with investors in the United States and other countries. During the launch event, a Fireside Chat on US-Pakistan Bilateral Trade Opportunities, Ambassador Blome remarked, “The United States has been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past 20 years, and US investment in Pakistan is the highest it has been in over a decade.

“Building on and expanding that strong foundation of economic cooperation, we are continuously seeking to increase bilateral trade, boost investment, and improve entrepreneurial and educational opportunities for Pakistanis.

“As a part of the US government’s long-term commitment to helping Pakistanis secure a more prosperous future, USAID is working closely with the government of Pakistan to streamline its business practices, improve governance, promote regulatory reforms and competition with the goal of lowering the cost of doing business and strengthening the investment climate for foreign investors in Pakistan. The newly-launched activity will promote opportunities for enhanced trade and investment between American and Pakistani businesses.”

Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said Pakistan was a resource-rich country with over 50% population under the age of 19 years. She said the foreign investors could explore the untapped areas in Pakistan such as tourism, hospitality, and IT sectors. She said there was no more the security issue in Pakistan and, therefore, the world must focus its attention to Pakistan’s market.