U.S.-Pakistan Business Council Offers Recommendations to Improve U.S.-Pakistani Economic Relations

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a 10th anniversary gala held last night at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in honor of its affiliate the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC), the Council released a report entitled, Why Pakistan?, highlighting the economic potential of Pakistan’s young, growing population, and the nation’s increasingly large and sophisticated domestic consumer market.  The report offers recommendations to help create a better business environment for U.S. companies operating in Pakistan and identifies and addresses barriers to investment and growth in the country.

“The USPBC has worked hard these ten years in establishing the basic conditions necessary for robust commercial engagement between U.S. businesses and Pakistan,” said USPBC Chairman Miles Young.  “The Council’s report aims to highlight Pakistan’s potential, as our companies see it.  Beneath the headlines, the opportunities are real indeed.”

The set of recommendations outlined in the report to promote increased U.S.-Pakistani commercial opportunities include:

• Formation of a U.S.-Pakistan Business Forum to allow private sectors of both countries have formal means to provide recommendations and take part in bilateral high-level discussions on economic and trade issues.

• Enhancement of private sector growth and investment through:

o Reestablishment of high-level bilateral discussions of working groups on agriculture, economics and finance, energy, market access, and science and technology.

o Urging Pakistan to increase transparency in government procurement and all government-commercial relations, including regulation, licensing and permits, uniform enforcement of product standards, contract enforcement, and dispute resolution.

o Calling on both governments to reach agreement on a U.S.-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty, which would help Pakistan create a stable, predictable investment climate that will be attractive to many investors.

• Improvement of the country’s energy systems and infrastructure to eliminate blackouts and brownouts.  Both countries should consult the private sector and explore public-private partnerships for infrastructure development.

• Enhancement of the coordination of available financial assistance and technical resources.  The organization of trade missions to Pakistan in addition to public meetings and published case studies and reports are similarly important.

“The Chamber looks forward to working together with our Pakistani partners to strengthen commercial ties between our two countries,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President of International Affairs Myron Brilliant.  “We will continue our work together to promote Pakistan’s socio-economic development toward shared prosperity for our citizens.”

A copy of the report, Why Pakistan?, can be read in full here: https://www.uschamber.com/reports/why-pakistan

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.