ISLAMABAD: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the closing of its four-year $11.3 million Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness project (PISDAC) after registering “significant achievements” here on Wednesday. “Providing economic opportunities for all Pakistanis is fundamental in building a solid and sustainable foundation for continued economic growth, prosperity, and peace,” said Edward Birgells, USAID/Pakistan Acting Mission Director. “Business leaders working through the USAID-PISDAC program have already made significant achievements by working with each other to improve their products, increase their exports, and develop a more qualified workforce.”
The ceremony was attended by manufacturers, exporters, academics, and others that have participated in the project. These Strategy Working Groups focused on sectors including gems and jewelry, marble and granite, dairy, furniture, surgical instruments and medical devices, and horticulture. Speaking on the occasion the Secretary, Industries and Production, Shahab Khawja, said that PISDAC set a unique precedent by successfully facilitating and developing economic growth strategies in six very different industrial sectors.
Initiated in 2004 and implemented by J. E. Austin Associates, USAID-PISDAC has partnered with Pakistani industries to create a self-sustaining process to increase their exports. Support for PISDAC is part of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. is providing to Pakistan, through USAID, over five years to improve economic growth, education, health, and governance, and for earthquake reconstruction.-SANA