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November 26, 2019

Majority of US companies shy of visiting Pakistan: USDA


November 26, 2019

KARACHI: US companies are still reluctant to visit Pakistan largely owing to the country’s negative perception and legal and information technology-related hurdles that need to be addressed, a US official said on Monday.

“Pakistan had many challenges in the past but the country has been progressing well and the situation was much better now,” said Rey Santella, agricultural counselor of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Good opportunities for US investors exist in Pakistan where they can surely explore trade and investment opportunities in numerous sectors including the agriculture, dairy, food items, and animal feeds etc,” Santella told a group of businessman at Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

He said USDA, which was already cooperating in the agriculture sector, was ready to provide technical assistance and training of trainers in the dairy and animal husbandry that would lead to improving the productivity.

“There is a big potential for expanding trade and investment ties between the two countries further but the business communities will have to meet more frequently so that this potential could be realised,” the US official said.

Santella said besides exporting meat, soybean and other agricultural products, non-fat dry milk worth $50 million was also being exported to Pakistan annually.

He sought KCCI’s assistance in identifying numerous trade opportunities so that these could accordingly be focused and disseminated amongst US companies with a view to improve the existing trade ties between the two countries.

“The USDA will be participating in Gulfood Exhibition scheduled to be staged in Dubai in February 2020, where Pakistani companies can visit the stalls of numerous US companies to examine their products and services”.

Earlier, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, President KCCI, in his welcome address, said it was really heartening to see many US companies were taking keen interest in Pakistani market hence it was the right time to fully facilitate and encourage joint ventures between the business communities of the two countries in numerous sectors.

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