WASHINGTON, D.C.–The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its U.S.-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) led a delegation of U.S. business leaders to Pakistan this week to identify trade and investment opportunities, advance the U.S.-Pakistan commercial relationship, and engage with leading Pakistani business organizations. The delegation represented a wide range of industries including advertising and public relations, agriculture, energy, consumer goods, and IT. The group met with private and public sector leaders in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.
“The USPBC’s delegation is a sign of the strong U.S. business support and private sector commitment to Pakistan,” said Esperanza Jelalian, president of the USPBC. “We need to be creative in finding ways to strengthen the U.S.-Pakistan trade and investment relationship by looking at positive ways to promote and advance our commercial ties.”
“Our visit to Pakistan underlines the importance that the United States and its business community attach to Pakistan, and our hope that the private sector connection can be strengthened further for the mutual benefit of both countries,” said USPBC Chairman Miles Young. "We have found very encouraging evidence of reform and pro-business policies, which significantly increase the attractiveness of Pakistan to investors.”
During meetings with government and business leaders, the organization recommended inviting the private sectors in both countries to join the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, creating a U.S.-Pakistan Business Forum, and reestablishing negotiations of a U.S.-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
“As both governments focus on fostering a deeper, broader and more comprehensive partnership, we will continue to look for opportunities to promote private sector investment and economic growth,” said Jelalian. “The private sector can play a much more significant and constructive role in developing public policy.”
The United States is Pakistan's largest trading partner, with two-way trade at $5 billion and 20% of Pakistan's exports going to the U.S.
The U.S.-Pakistan Business Council is the premier organization in Washington dedicated to the broad advancement of U.S. commercial engagement in Pakistan. Since 2002, the Council has provided a national forum for dialogue on key economic, commercial, humanitarian, and political issues of interest to American companies operating in or exploring business opportunities in Pakistan.
International trade and investment is a key component of the Chamber’s 2014 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to generate stronger economic growth, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all Americans.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 50 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 116 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.