KARACHI: US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has said that there are endless possibilities to further strengthen the economic partnership as the two countries are celebrating 75 years of bilateral ties this year.
“Some of the sectors where we see great possibility for expanding our economic partnership include agriculture, sustainable energy production, telecommunication equipment and services, waste management, and healthcare – areas in which US companies provide world-class products and unparalleled service,” the ambassador said while addressing at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday.
As the US and Pakistan commemorate 75 years of partnership this year, “I want our robust economic relationship to be front and centre. It is a relationship worth highlighting, and is bigger and more important than ever.”
US-Pakistan trade was worth nearly $9 billion in 2021, up more than 60% since 2016, having increased every year, he pointed out.
US is by far Pakistan’s largest export market, and there is great potential to “expand this commercial relationship even more,” the envoy added.
US is also one of the largest sources of foreign investment in Pakistan. Its affiliated businesses are among Pakistan’s largest employers.
He said he was happy to see that many of those firms were listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. “I hope that the number continues to grow as … more US firms establish operations here.”
“I am looking forward to learning more during my visit to Karachi about where we can focus our efforts to ensure that our strong economic partnership continues to flourish, and where we can work together to facilitate broad-based, equitable, and sustainable economic growth for both of our nations.”
US companies already operating in Pakistan have recognised the potential to increase their sales in a market of over 200 million people.
They can also play a key role in encouraging wider adoption of global standards on corporate governance, environment, and social issues – which, in the long run, helps pave the way for more US and other international companies to succeed in the market, attracting even more investment.
Blome opened the trading day by striking the gong at the stock exchange. The US ambassador was accompanied by the US Consul General in Karachi Mark Stroh and his team.
PSX MD and CEO Farrukh Khan said, “We are honoured by this visit and look forward to a fruitful dialogue with the ambassador and his team to find ways to generate greater interest from US investors, institutional and individual, in our capital market.”
Despite the current economic challenges impacting the global economy in general and Pakistan’s economy in particular, there are attractive valuations and potential for high returns for long-term investors, he said.
“PSX will continue to work to attract more investors and portfolio managers from the US and we look forward to the ambassador’s support in this regard.”
PSX Chairperson Dr Shamshad Akhtar expressed confidence in greater cooperation between Pakistan and the US in investment, financial and economic spheres in the future.