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March 6, 2020

Ali Jahangir says he tried to allay US concerns over CPEC

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March 6, 2020

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is committed to documenting its economy, tax collection and having prudent fiscal management, said Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, Ambassador-at-Large for foreign investment.

Addressing at an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a local distinguished think tank, Ambassador Siddiqui raised points to understand opportunities for American business and growth in trade between the US and Pakistan.

The event titled, “Is Pakistan open to American business” was held here on Thursday. Both the US and Pakistani governments have identified expanding trade and investment ties as a necessary step to improve bilateral relations, but Pakistan’s close relationship with China has also sparked concern in the United States. Ambassador Siddiqui offered key areas of investment while highlighting CPEC related broad-based investment opportunities.

He informed the audience that Pakistan has been transparent about the CPEC projects. He pointed out that project details that upgrade infrastructure are available on public forums while American companies such as GE and IFC have been interested in CPEC related projects.

Siddiqui underscored that Pakistan has been ranked higher than before in ease of doing business just because in the last one year the government worked tirelessly to resolve issues and offer a “one window” solutions.

Presenting the case for investment in the agriculture sector, Ambassador Siddiqui argued that the US companies should bring technology to the country. He presented the case that in last few years Pakistan’s corn production went up dramatically. He mentioned that Agro yields in wheat, rice and cotton have the similar potential to grow through new technology.

“We would hope for a much broader partnership,” Siddiqui said adding that Pakistan and the US are looking for a relationship that goes beyond economics as well. He mentioned partnership in education sector, cultural exchange and contributions on expats as many elements in the relationship. Siddiqui said that Pakistan has made significant progress in FATF compliance. The country, he said, is on a typical pathway to coming off the grey list.