FAISALABAD: Pakistan and the US are enjoying sustained and mutually beneficial relations despite a “temporary political recession” and a visible improvement in ties is expected in coming days, said Ann Mason, Chief of Political and Economic Section, US Consulate General, Lahore.
Speaking to business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), she said America was investing in many countries including Pakistan.
Terming agriculture an integral and major part of Pakistan’s economy, she emphasised that the US would continue to assist Pakistan within the given circumstances. However, she said some US seed manufacturing companies had expressed reservations and the local business community must take measures to address their grievances in order to take benefit of the latest American technology that was bringing high-yielding seeds.
The envoy called the M3 Industrial Estate an opportunity for investors to play their role in the overall development of Faisalabad and gave assurances to businessmen that she would persuade the Americans to invest in the estate. She also agreed to cooperate in human resources development in Pakistan.
FCCI President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain said textile was the real economic strength of Faisalabad, but the city witnessed phenomenal diversification with the addition of many new sectors.
Crescent and Nishat groups are leading yarn manufacturers in the city, which also has a state-of-the-art edible oil manufacturing unit named Rafhan Maize. Similarly, Iqbal Rice, which is a member of the FCCI, is consistently winning the best exporter award.
Hussain revealed that construction of a residential colony had been kicked off in the M3 Industrial Estate and an additional 3,300 acres of land were being acquired on the other side of the motorway for its expansion in future.
He pointed out that work on a car assembly plant of Hyundai was being completed while other industrial units were at different stages of completion.
“Pakistan is an agrarian economy and its 70% population is directly or indirectly linked with it. Hence, we need high-yielding American seeds to enhance our per-acre yield, which is necessary to eliminate rural poverty,” he said.
The FCCI chief stressed that America should invest in Pakistan and particularly mentioned the setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar or Karachi, which would not only trim the overall import bill of Pakistan, but would also encourage ancillary industries.
He highlighted the manufacturing of solar panels as another area where American investment was required.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2019.
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