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July 22, 2019

Imran woos US investors ahead of Trump meeting

Top Story

July 22, 2019

By News Desk

WASHINGTON: As soon as Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in the United States ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump today, he quickly got to work to woo Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, touting the “tremendous” promise the country has for investment.

Khan’s meetings come ahead of Khan’s first one-on-one meeting with Trump today (Monday), which is seen as an effort by the leaders to repair ties and expand bilateral cooperation on trade and investment, as well working toward peace in South Asia at large and Afghanistan in particular.

A US official said the White House invitation to Pakistan represents Washington’s willingness to repair US-Pakistan ties and rebuilding an enduring partnership if Islamabad continues its counter-terrorism cooperation. The Pakistani delegation includes Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Inter-Services Intelligence chief.

According to Geo News, the Prime Minister will also meet the interim chief and managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank President David Malpass.

In one of several meetings on Sunday, Prime Minister Khan invited overseas businessmen and investors to benefit from the “tremendous economic and business opportunities” afforded by Pakistan’s strategic location and the connectivity to the broader region.

Prime Minister Khan underscored his government’s policy framework and “conducive environment” for the promotion of foreign investment. He was talking to a group of businesspersons — Nasir Javed, Ashraf Kazi and Shaukat Dhanani — who called on the Prime Minister at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington.

The Prime Minister spoke about efforts being undertaken to improve “ease of doing business”, promotion of the industrial sector and socio-economic development of the country. They briefed the Prime Minister about their interest for investment in the fields of academia, manufacturing and steel industry. They appreciated the Prime Minister’s vision of socio-economic development of Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari were also present during the meeting.

Khan also met a group of prospective investors led by Javaid Anwar, a leading Pakistani-American entrepreneur, who called on the Prime Minister at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington. The investors appreciated the improved security environment in Pakistan and identified areas of interest with regard to investment in key sectors, including energy and tourism. In a separate meeting on Sunday, Tahir Javed, a Texas-based Pakistani businessman and an influential Democrat called on Prime Minister Khan at the Pakistan embassy. Javed has been instrumental in setting up a Pakistan Congress Foundation that has played a key role in the revival and activation of Congressional Pakistan Caucus at the 116th Congress.

The Prime Minister also met Shahal Khan, a leading American investor of Pakistani origin. Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram was accompanying him. Qureshi, Zaidi, Dawood, Sheikh and Bukhari were also present during the meeting where trade and investment avenues in Pakistan were discussed.

In another meeting with entrepreneurs, Afiniti chief executive Zia Chishti, The Resource Group (TRG) founding partner Mohammed Khaishgi, and TRG Chief Investment Officer Hasnain Aslam called on Prime Minister Khan. That meeting was also attended by the Prime Minister’s retinue.

The investors expressed their desire to further enhance their investment in the IT and technology sector of Pakistan.

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