ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has said that Pakistan is an ideal destination for U.S investors and businesses due to its unique geo-economic position and impressive demographic cohorts.
In an exclusive interaction with the board of Directors of the Pakistan-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) in Los Angeles, he appreciated the work done by the Chamber to promote trade and investment ties between the two countries.
He said while bilateral trade between the two countries jumped from 8.5 to 12 billion dollars last year, there was potential to increase it further by enhancing economic cooperation in targeted areas such as technology, IT tourism, extractive industry, oil and gas exploration, manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture.
The event was also attended by a group of businessmen working in textile, banking, logistics, solar and Fintech sectors as well as healthcare professionals. The Ambassador underscored the need for growing trade ties with the State of California, which has a GDP of 3.5 trillion dollars. He said Pakistan and California are important trade partners and Pakistan’s exports to California were 457 million dollar, whereas Pakistan’s imports were 138 million dollars, with a surplus of 319 million in Pakistan’s favor in the past year.
He noted that despite being a big market, Pakistan’s economy is undervalued and underestimated. He said 80 U.S. companies and enterprises were successfully doing business in Pakistan for decades and making substantial profits.
He urged the members to have confidence in Pakistan’s economy and scale up their businesses in Pakistan as this would encourage others to invest. While noting their concerns regarding the regulatory regimes in Pakistan, the Ambassador said that the Government of Pakistan has taken a number of steps to enhance ease of doing business.
These, he said, included streamlining of taxation, enforcing intellectual property rights, liberalization of business visa regime and implementation of cyber laws. He said as a result, last year out of 257 million dollars FDI from U.S, a total of 203 million dollars profits had been repatriated.
A number of companies from France, China, Germany, Singapore, South Korea and Japan are investing in Pakistan, particularly in the IT sector. He invited the Pakistani American businesses to become part of this economic transformation taking place in Pakistan.
President PACC Fawad Ismail briefed the Ambassador about the organization’s activities to enhance trade ties between Pakistan and the U.S., including investment seminars and webinars on Roshan Digital Account (RDA). He also highlighted the philanthropic work during Covid-19 pandemic in particular such as donating over one million dollar worth of PPE, raising funds for disasters in Pakistan and U.S, and assisting local communities and businesses during pandemic.