Diplomat wants Pakistani businessmen to exploit US expertise

The United States has long been Pakistan’s largest export market, importing more than $5 billion Pakistani goods that is surpassing any other country and we want bilateral economic relations to be further strengthened by inviting Pakistani businessmen to come to US and get advantage of United States expertise in different sectors.

This was stated by Nathan Seifert, Counselor for Commercial Affairs during his meeting on trade-ties between Pak-US with Member Board of Investors and former convener of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia Shahid Khan Shinwari.

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The two held an hour-long meeting and thoroughly discussed Pakistan-US trade ties and exchange of visits of Pakistani businessmen to US to have business-to-business meetings with different US companies for extending trading ties and to get benefits from the US expertise in fields of business. Ayaz Ali Khan, Commercial Specialist of the Embassy of the United States of America in Islamabad was also present at the meeting.

The main products that Pakistan exports to the United States are house linens, knitted sweaters, and other clothing articles. During the last 25 years the exports of Pakistan to the United States has increased at an annualized rate of 4.79%, from $1.26B in 1995 to $4.04B in 2020. The United States is also one of the top trading partners of Pakistan.

Pakistan is importing aluminum, aircraft, spacecraft, dairy products, honey, edible products and manmade staple fibers.

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Mr. Nathan said, we work closely with Pakistan on a wide array of issues ranging from energy, trade and investment, health, clean energy and combating the climate crisis. The United States has been one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and remains Pakistan’s largest export market.

Trade and investment relations between the United States and Pakistan continue to grow and the U.S. government supports this relationship by organizing business to business trade delegations, providing technical assistance, and promoting business opportunities for U.S. companies to develop U.S.-Pakistan commercial partnerships.

For more than 70 years, Pakistan has been an important partner and that is why we want that the businessmen of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should come up to various trade expos for interaction with various US companies for expanding their business sphere.

Such direct communications with companies based in the US would help them learn more about expanding their businesses, Mr. Nathan Seifert said.

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He said Pakistan is the fifth largest country in the world with regard to population and ranked as the 44th largest economy in 2022 according to IMF estimates. The United States has long been Pakistan’s largest export market, importing more than $5 billion of Pakistani goods in 2021, far surpassing any other country. The United States has also been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past 20 years. In the most recent fiscal year, U.S. direct investment in Pakistan increased by 50 percent, it is now the highest in over a decade.

Major U.S. investments are concentrated in consumer goods, chemicals, energy, agriculture, business process out-sourcing, transportation, and communications. The United States has sought to deepen commercial ties with Pakistan, including through engagement by senior officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of State, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) with Pakistani leaders.

However, Pakistan’s business climate has areas that needed to be strengthened, including regulation, intellectual property protection, and taxation. The United States continues to work with Pakistan to achieve business climate enhancements.

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Mr. Nathan said it is good opportunity for the Pakistani businessmen to visit and interact with leading companies of the world and through that way it would help Pakistan-US to deepen trade ties. Nathan Seifert and Shahid Khan Shinwari, CEO of Shahid and Brothers, pledged to strengthen trade ties and business-to-business contacts to enhance the bilateral trade volume.

The two sides discussed a wide array of issues to foster bilateral trade and investment. Moreover, both talked about boosting cooperation in lubricant, energy, agriculture, textile and healthcare sectors as well as promotion of digital trade and e-commerce. Protection of intellectual property, promotion of labors’ rights and economic empowerment of women also came under discussion.

The US Diplomat assured Shahid Khan Shinwari to remove all obstacles in the way of visit of Pakistani businessmen and investors in the US besides a guideline would also be provided to other leading businessmen and companies who want to strengthen and expand business, trade and investment ties.

Shahid Khan Shinwari thanked Mr. Nathan Seilfert for his efforts to support and help the businessmen in expanding trade and investment ties with the US and taking advantage of available business opportunities.

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