Press Coverage

PRESS RELEASE

U.S CONSULATE GENERAL MEETING WITH ALL PAKISTAN BUSINESS FORUM MEMBERS

February 15, 2015

Lahore (Press Release) – The All Pakistan Business Forum’s President, M. Ibrahim Qureshi, hosted a dinner in honor of U.S Consulate General Zackary Harkenrider, at Gymkhana Club, which was attended by Chairman APBF Haroon Khawaja, General Secretary Ayesha Hamid and APBF members.

The APBF members, during the dinner meeting with the U.S Consulate General, called for the US-Pakistan bilateral investment treaty, taking the private sector onboard, which would help Pakistan create a stable, predictable investment climate.

Ibrahim Qureshi stated that with hosts of recommendations, the APBF’s forum allows private sectors of both the countries to take part in bilateral high-level discussions on economic and trade issues.”

“The APBF is working hard in establishing the basic conditions necessary for robust commercial engagement between U.S. businesses and Pakistan,” said Ibrahim Qureshi. Chairman Haroon Khawaja, on this occasion, stressed the need for enhancing private sector growth and investment through reestablishment of bilateral discussions of working groups on agriculture, economics and finance, energy, market access, and science and technology.

U.S Consulate General Zackary Harkenrider, addressing the meeting said that the United States is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, as bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded $5 billion during last fiscal year. The United States accounted for 15.7% of Pakistan’s exports, the most of any country. He said the U.S is also one of the top sources of foreign direct investment to Pakistan, with $206.8 million.

U.S CONSULATE GENERAL ZACKARY HARKENRIDER said that economic reforms require tough decisions, but it would help Pakistan overcome fiscal, energy and agriculture challenges. He said trade also has the potential to create jobs for the estimated 20 million Pakistanis entering the labour force in the next 10 years. He said that Pakistanis could reach their full potential when they have economic opportunities such as dairy, agriculture and HALAL meat. He said that American companies were productive and progressive members of Pakistan’s society and economy.

“The United States has had diplomatic relations with Pakistan since its creation, and it again declares to invigorate ties with Pakistan to foster a deeper and comprehensive trade partnership, besides facilitating the concrete support in all fields ranging from energy to counterterrorism.”

U.S CONSUL GENERAL ZACKARY HEINDREKER observed that the U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan is focused on energy, economic growth, and agriculture. He said that in last five years the U.S. disbursed over $4.38 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan, including over $1 billion of humanitarian assistance.

The U.S contributions have added over 1,300 MW to Pakistan’s electricity grid through infrastructure upgrades, rehabilitation and policy consultation.

M. Ibrahim Qureshi

President APBF