Pakistan, US agreement: Plan signed to promote women entrepreneurs

Need for a plan stems from a previous MoU to enable women’s economic empowerment

APP June 04, 2016
Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan and US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews are addressing the press at the 4th PAK-US Business Opportunities Conference. PHOTO: INP

NEW YORK: Pakistan and the United States on Friday signed an action plan on women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment during a major business conference.

The action plan was signed by the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell, and Pakistan’s Additional Secretary of Commerce, Robina Ather, at a simple ceremony on the sidelines of the two-day U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference, which was aimed at building business-to-business linkages.

Among those present at the ceremony were Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, who led the Pakistan delegation to the conference and US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, who headed the American delegation.

The action plan stems from a 2014 U.S.-Pakistan Memorandum of Understanding to enable women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.  A key aspect will be a ‘Women in the Economy Forum’ that consults and mobilises private-public partnerships from both countries to coordinate and formulate recommendations.

The two-day conference, the fourth in a series, was the first to be held in the United States. The previous conferences took place in London, Dubai and Islamabad.

This conference built upon the joint action plan that President Obama and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif committed to that will increase bilateral trade and investment during the next five years, help modernise Pakistan’s economy and infrastructure, and promote a healthier business climate in Pakistan.

About 300 industry representatives, investors, and government leaders from the two countries as well as emerging professionals and entrepreneurs attended the conference. At a press conference, Khan said that the fourth business conference was a “manifestation of that commitment” made by the two leaders. U.S.-Pakistan ties, he added, would mature and deepen in the years ahead.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2016.

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