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US Chamber of Commerce delegation calls on Qamar

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ISLAMABAD: US Chamber of Commerce delegation led by Lt. Gen. (R) Daniel W. Christman, Senior Vice President for International Affairs accompanied by Mr. Jay Collins, Chairman US-Pakistan Business Council met Syed Naveed Qamar, Finance Minister here on Friday. The US delegation is in Pakistan to explore avenues for closer cooperation in commercial and trade sectors between the two countries. The US Chamber of Commerce represents US foreign business leaders whose efforts focus on development of leadership-to-leadership relationship on international issues affecting the business community.

Finance Minister briefed the US delegation about latest economic and business development initiatives of Government of Pakistan that not only focus strengthening of internal economy but also take stock of GOP’s business and commercial relationship with regional states and the developed world.

Both the sides agreed on a consensus based note highlighting Pak-US commercial interaction against the background of public and private sector development with a trend of progressively increasing investment in Pakistan during the ongoing and forthcoming fiscal years (FY-08-10), with particular emphasis on infrastructure development and energy sectors.

The present democratic government’s political initiatives for a complete democratization of state institutions, while bridging the gap between the governed and the governors, merit a multi-pronged foreign investors financing in a portfolio of projects that are of mutual benefit to the external investors and national beneficiaries.

US delegates discussed the possibility of adding to the frequency of business-commercial partnership between the two countries in the context of financial investors’ perspective that would take the two allies further on way to expanded relationship. Finance Minister reciprocated US Chamber of Commerce delegation’s viewpoint, adding that political scenario following post-September 2008 Presidential elections in Pakistan would complete the democratization process and country would attain substantial political stability that forms essential part of economic stability and progress in the country.

GOP currently is geared to come out with a multi-pronged positive economic trends and policy framework – notwithstanding the ongoing global energy crisis – that would place the country at par with other stable developing countries economies. Macro-economic stability is primary agenda of the present government, Finance Minister added.

Finance Minister further informed the US delegates that during recent months GOP has taken certain hard fiscal decisions that potentially would impact attaining stable economic indicators down the road. Pakistan looks forward to working with US in all eco-commercial fields in times to come, he stressed.

US Chamber of Commerce delegation presented his country’s financial community’s perspective on market economy, individual investor’s initiative for across the country investment which certainly take into account GOP’s privatization programme and other external investment portfolios being opened to the world.

Finance Minister explained to the delegates Pakistan’s financial instruments being put in place in all fiscal and economic sectors that take stock of all micro and macro issues prioritized on GOP agenda which contains all market-based monetary incentives. He added that agriculture in Pakistan is an engine of economic growth and government is fully committed to boost it for achieving better crop yield, and Pakistan welcomes foreign investment in portfolio-based projects in all sectors of economy focusing energy, agriculture and infrastructure development.

The meeting concluded on a note of both sides’ attaching importance to bilateral investment treaty that would institute a forum which would be supportive to both friendly countries’ economic and investment initiatives.-SANA

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