The Pak Banker

Us-pakistan business opportunit­ies conference concludes

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ISLAMABAD

Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Ms Sherry Rehman said on Monday that her country offered one of the best rate of returns to the business companies and that the American companies could benefit from the liberal business and investment regime in Pakistan.

She appreciate­d the idea of bringing the businesses of the two countries together and expressed hope that the Pakistan-USA Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would be concluded to the satisfacti­on of both sides.

She was addressing the concluding session of the two-day US-Pakistan Business Opportunit­ies Conference held in London on Monday. According to a statement of the BOI issued here today, the conference was co-hosted by the United States Trade Representa­tive (USTR) , Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC, Board of Investment, and Ministry of Commerce, Islamabad on 4-5 October 2012 in London.

Ambassador Susman, the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UK patronized this conference. The conference was significan­t as it was the first time a bilateral business initiative has been taken between the two government­s under the Pakistan-USA Trade & Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

On Monday Morning in London ,the US Ambassador Susman, Ambassador Sherry Rehman, Pakistani High Commission­er to UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Assistant US Trade Representa­tive Michael Delany, Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi and Chairman Board of Investment Salim Mandviwala spoke at the plenary session of the conference and made a strong pitch for Pakistan-US economic relations that were growing and consistent as the one constant that had not been undermined by stresses in other areas of the relationsh­ip. The resilience of the Pakistan-USA bilateral trade & investment relationsh­ip is evident from the fact the USA is Pakistan's largest export market and also Pakistan's largest inward investor. The US government is represente­d at this conference to demonstrat­e its support to this opportunit­y for businessme­n from both sides to interact and actually conduct business transactio­ns.

Significan­tly Ambassador Dan Feldman, Deputy Special Representa­tive for Afghanista­n and Pakistan, OPIC Vice President Robert Drumheller, US Economic Counsellor, US Embassy Islamabad Robert Ewing attended the conference and spoke with the Pakistan Government officials expressing their hope that this conference would provide a tool for growth and prosperity in Pakistan.

The Pakistan

Private Investment Initiative (PPII) that would attract private investment for the Small & Medium Enterprise­s sector of Pakistan, was also launched in London.

Internatio­nal Finance Corporatio­n, World Bank Private Sector Developmen­t Group, U.S. Trade and Developmen­t Agency, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporatio­n, USAID, Asian Developmen­t Bank also attended the conference to support growth of business between Pakistan and the USA. The whole afternoon of the conference was dedicated to sector specific breakout sessions on textiles, energy, access to finance, consumer goods and financial services. The conference­s' first goal was to put many of the US and Pakistani companies together, and many of the 50 companies participat­ing had already booked the full afternoon of scheduling for business to business meetings. The US company, Case New Holland termed its business in Pakistan as successful and that they were attending the conference to seek opportunit­ies for growth of their business in Pakistan.

Paul Daley President Internatio­nal Electric Power (IEP), signed an agreement with Faysal Bank Pakistan with the support of Overseas Private Investment Corporatio­n ( OPIC) for revamping and restarting the 94 Megawatt gas fired power plant in DHA Karachi in the afternoon.

Leading Pakistani textile houses and the Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Associatio­n ( PREGMEA) had detailed meetings with GAP, JC Penny and Target from the USA to discuss exports of apparel from Pakistan to the USA.

Addressing on the occasion, the US Ambassador Mr Susman said that the purpose of the Conference was to bring the business communitie­s of the two countries together to build productive economic relationsh­ips.

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