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LAHORE: US Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed has said that the US is Pakistan’s largest single export market and one of Pakistan’s largest sources of foreign investment.

“We must capitalise on that potential and nurture even greater and energetic economic ties,” he said in his address at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir presented the welcome address while Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan, Vice President Haris Ateeq, Regional Policy Lead, Europe, Central Asia, Pakistan Gaia Self, and Political and Economic Section Chief of the US Consulate General, Lahore, Kathleen Gibilisco also spoke on the occasion.

The independence day of the US was celebrated on the occasion.

Dilawar Syed pointed out that more than 80 US companies are already operating in Pakistan. “There is a need to further improve the business environment here as there is a huge potential of Pakistani products,” he said.

There is also a dire need to promote dialogue at all forum, he said. “We hope Pakistan will continue implementing reforms to make it more attractive for global investors.”

The US State Department official said the US administration is exploring concrete ways in which the bilateral relationship could be improved for the benefit of both the countries. “We must seize the opportunity to boost commercial, economic ties,” he said, adding that the US government is committed to improving such ties.

He was of the view that to capitalise on the potential, Pakistan will have to make its supply chain more resilient. He said that considering the huge potential of Pakistani market and its youth bulge, there is a vast room for further enhancement of trade.

He said that the two countries had a decades-long history of economic partnership. The US-Pakistan trade and investment cooperation is an ongoing, essential part of the bilateral relationship.

The private sector of Pakistan should play a leading role to cement the mutual trade and economic ties and should establish most modern and hi-tech industries to get more share in international trade, he said.

The adviser to the US president said that the United States continues to encourage Pakistan to improve the business climate to make it easier for American businesses to invest, operate, and create jobs in Pakistan. The US companies can introduce new technologies and generate returns that translate into higher incomes for local workers and capital for additional investments.

He said that various US companies are already operating in Pakistan and are keen to develop their operations in collaboration with their Pakistani counterparts.

The LCCI president said that Pakistanis take pride in the fact that Pakistani nationals are playing a active role in the US Society at almost all levels.

He said that Punjab’s contribution to the country’s GDP is 50 percent and the province accounts for half its population. This essentially means that the current macro-economic challenges like devaluation, inflation and trade deficit have a profound impact on the economy of Punjab.

He said that the potential areas where Pakistan and the US can enter into joint ventures include agriculture technology, minerals and mining, pharmaceuticals, leather, light engineering (e.g. surgical instruments), processed food, financial services, retail sector, and poultry and meat.

Nauman Kabir said that renewable energy is another important area for industrial cooperation. “We wish to start manufacturing solar panels in Pakistan and this is possible with the support of United States.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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