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LAHORE: Pakistan’s Consul General to Los Angeles Asim Ali Khan said here on Friday that the United States is a huge market which is also called the land of opportunities. Pakistan Consulate in Los Angeles will extend every possible help to Pakistani business community to explore the trade and investment opportunities there.

The consulate has the access to 10 states including California, said Consul General Asim Ali Khan while visiting LCCI to learn about the challenges being faced by the business community in doing business with United States of America. The Consul General said the US represents a significant and potential export market for Pakistan. The chambers of commerce are responsible for informing the consulate of what may be done to advance trade between the two nations.

He said all the embassies of Pakistan have a commercial counselor and the TDAP representatives. He said the consulate will ensure B2B liaison between the two countries. He said the purpose of an embassy is that when the citizens of that country come there, they feel they have an office there which can resolve their issues. He said the consulate will do whatever it can.

The consulate will convey event-related information to the concerned platforms. He said if the business community will say that another country is getting a facility but not Pakistan, the matter will be resolved politically. He said Pakistan is an open market and there are no export barriers. He further stated that the growth pattern of all the sectors in US is not as fast as the growth of IT sector. The Pakistani businessmen should also focus this particular area, he suggested.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that Pakistan has a very old diplomatic relationship with the US which started in 1947. Both the countries cooperate with each other in almost all spheres of life, including bilateral trade, defense, social and cultural relations. He said that Pakistani exporters, who want to participate in the exhibitions in US, get appointment in the US embassy in six to eight month. In such a scenario, how they can explore the potential.

LCCI President said we have to do work for tax net expansion, exports boost, imports reduction and increase in foreign remittances. He said that expatriate Pakistanis should be encouraged to invest in Pakistan. He said that United States has been Pakistan’s largest export destination for a long time, while still 20% of our exports go to America.

In this regard, these statistics are very important that from 2007 to 2018, the volume of Pakistan’s exports to America was $ 3 billion which increased to a little over $ 4 billion in 2019 and 2020. For the first time in history, our export volume has reached about $6.8 billion in 2021-22 which is very encouraging.

Senior Vice President Chaudhry Zafar Mahmood called for a free trade agreement between the two countries saying that Pakistani exporters face duty barrier in the US while there is a zero rating for India and Bangladesh. That’s why Pakistani exporters have to export through third country.

The meeting with LCCI President Kashif Anwar continued for an hour which was also attended by Senior Vice President Chaudhry Zafar Mahmood, Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt and Executive Committee Members.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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