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Pakistani group hopes to promote Pak-US trade

June 19, 2004 - Daily Times

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Trade links between Pakistan and the United States are expected to receive a boost, according to the US-Pakistan Business Council which was set up in September 2002.

Members of the new body met last week in Torrance, California, at a dinner hosted by two leading Pakistani-American entrepreneurs, Pervaiz Lodhie and Najeeb Ghauri. The Council describes itself as the leading private sector association of American companies which have business interests in Pakistan. Three charter members – The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Sweetwater International - spearheaded its formation. “Both Coca Cola and PepsiCo have been active members of the US Chamber of Commerce for years, and Sweetwater International is truly a success story of positive American commercial involvement in Pakistan,” according to Ms Esperanza Gomez, executive director, USPBC, who flew from Washington to attend the interactive dinner. Dr. Herbert Davis, vice president for South Asia, Middle East and Africa Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, also came to the meeting and was the keynote speaker, according to a report in the Los Angeles-based publication, Pakistan Link.

In his keynote address, Dr Herbert Davis said, “Pakistan is a country rich in history, culture, and human resources. Today it is also an emerging market rich with exciting opportunities for US foreign direct investment. Pakistan has an ideal geographic location with immediate access to the Central Asian Republics and has a competitively affordable and expanding workforce of over 40 million, many of whom are well versed in the English language. Since 1999, Pakistan has achieved significant macro-economic successes as recognised by the multilateral lending institutions, in particular, the World Bank. Pakistan’s foreign investment policy is among the most open and liberal in South Asia.

All of this is good news for American companies interested in doing business in Pakistan. Pakistan is in the position of providing the essential linkages between the economies of China and the Middle East. ” Dr Davis said he was proud of his quarter century long association with Pakistan, adding, “Pakistan has played an important role in my life.”

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