KARACHI: The US government is deeply interested in expanding trade and investment ties with Pakistan, said US Consulate General Chief of the Economic Unit Chad Miner.
Addressing a meeting at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday, Miner highlighted some irritants related to value addition and packaging criteria for Pakistani products to be exported to the US. He was of the view that if these issues are addressed, it could lead to expansion of trade and investment between both the countries. The commercial team of the US Consulate visited KCCI to seek the chamber’s input on current economic environment in Pakistan and acquaint KCCI’s business community about American businesses’ interest of investing in numerous sectors of Pakistan’s economy.
Also speaking on the occasion, KCCI President Junaid Esmail Makda stressed the need for having a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and the US in order to pave way for enhanced trade and investment between the two countries. He further underscored that it was high time that Pakistan should make the best use of the Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) opportunity keeping in view the withdrawal of GSP facility to India and Turkey.
“Under GSP, approximately 3,500 Pakistani products have been granted duty-free access to the United States but the textile sector was not under GSP,” he remarked. Makda added that the sector also be added to the list that would help in taking the existing trade volume to new heights.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit US soon so the prime minister must also request US authorities to add Pakistani textiles in the GSP list.
He appreciated the USAID support to Pakistan in the education and health sectors, gender equality and women empowerment.
He was of the opinion that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a good opportunity for many US companies and it was really heartening to see that companies like Exxon, Texaco have invested in Pakistan in oil exploration projects.
Makda commented that the present government was aiming to create an enabling environment by taking various measures particularly to ensure ease of doing business, which will also be beneficial for foreign investors intending to set up their business or undertake joint ventures in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2019.