Fourth U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference held in New York
NEW YORK (United States) – Pakistani and U.S. government leaders and business experts expressed hope that economic cooperation and investment relations between the two countries will further strengthen.
The U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference 2016 will further boost linkages between US and Pakistani businesses, experts believed.
The Government of the United States and the Government of Pakistan convened the fourth annual U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference on June 2-3 in New York City.
Hundreds of Pakistani and U.S. business leaders attended the conference to explore commercial opportunities and expand business-to-business linkages.
Pakistani Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews led the two countries’ delegations. The senior officials noted their optimism for the U.S.-Pakistan partnership, reiterating that economic cooperation and strong commercial ties are essential. Featured as the conference’s corporate keynote speaker, General Electric Vice Chairman John Rice addressed the business and investment climate in Pakistan.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that the fourth business conference was a “manifestation of that commitment”, made by the two leaders. He went on to say that the US-Pakistan ties would significantly mature and deepen in the years ahead.
US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews said that Pakistan achieved the economic reform agenda and the country is prepared to partner on a range of promising business ventures.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson lauded Pakistan’s economic progress and said the country is now open for business.
Throughout the conference, government and private sector representatives discussed trade and investment opportunities with a particular focus on fashion apparel, health care, information communication technology, agriculture, and women’s economic empowerment. Panelists shared their perspectives on trade and investment opportunities, doing better business in Pakistan through increased familiarity with regulations, and ways to increase gender diversity in employment.
Other conference speakers included Fred Hochberg, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States; Jalil Jilani, Pakistani Ambassador to the United States; Richard Olson, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; Donald “Larry” Sampler, Assistant to the Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs; Naheed Memon, Sindh Board of Investment Chairperson; and Ziad Haider, U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs.
A networking reception hosted by the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council on June 2 highlighted the April 2016 launch of the Pakistan Private Investment Initiative and facilitated additional business linkages among conference participants. The Pakistan Private Investment Initiative is a partnership between USAID and three private equity fund managers to invest over $150 million in capital to help Pakistani businesses grow and create jobs.
More than 300 industry representatives, investors, and government leaders from the two countries, as well as emerging professionals and entrepreneurs, also attended the conference in CitiCorp building in mid-town Manhattan.
Pak-US to sign a women’s economic empowerment action plan
Pakistan and the United States signed an action plan on women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment during a major business conference.
The action plan was signed by the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell, and Pakistan’s Additional Secretary of Commerce, Robina Ather, at a simple ceremony on the sidelines of the two-day U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference.
Under the plan, Pakistan will organize its first Women in the Economy Forum and its first nationwide “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” to raise awareness of and increase career opportunities for women.
U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference background
The 2016 conference, the first to be held in the United States, built upon President Barack Obama’s and
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s October 2015 commitment to expand bilateral trade and investment during the next five years.
The previous conferences took place in London, Dubai and Islamabad.
The conferences are aimed at building linkages between U.S. and Pakistani business community, modernization of the Pakistan’s economy and infrastructure, and promotion of a healthier business climate in Pakistan.