In 2022, the United States and Pakistan celebrated 75 years of bilateral relations between our two countries. The signs of our 75-year partnership are visible throughout Pakistan. Decades of development assistance supported the construction of schools and hospitals and built highways throughout the country. Thousands of Pakistanis have studied in the United States and have returned to Pakistan to assume key roles in business and government. And U.S. companies employ hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis, and we have built a network of personal and professional connections that has established a strong foundation for our relationship. There is also a long history of humanitarian work that binds our countries. We were there for Pakistan during the Kashmir earthquake of 2005 and the floods of 2010 and 2011, and now today we are helping lead efforts to ensure Pakistanis in need receive life-saving assistance amid the devastating flooding throughout the country.
At the heart of our relationship lies the economy. The United States is Pakistan’s largest single export market by a wide margin. We are also one of Pakistan’s largest sources of foreign investment. Last year saw a 50 percent increase in U.S. investment in Pakistan over the year before, and it is now the highest it has been in over a decade. Our firms have a long record of making and selling high-quality products and services in Pakistan’s market, from energy, agricultural equipment and products to franchising, retail trade, and the digital sector.
The U.S. relationship with Pakistan deserves to stand on its own. It is necessarily broad-based, and profoundly important for both our countries, for the region, and for the world. It is not, and need not be, exclusive of any other regional relationship. At a moment of great change, the United States and Pakistan need to define a partnership that advances our shared interests and meets our mutual, ambitious goals.
The strong foundations of our mutual relationship have prepared us to jointly address our most pressing global challenges. The first challenge is how to achieve inclusive economic growth, including a trade and investment relationship based on fairness, transparency, and sustainability. The second challenge is building a climate-friendly energy policy that is sustainable and can both power Pakistan’s economic growth and preserve its economic independence. As our cooperation on the “Green Revolution” improved lives in the 1960s, a “Green Alliance” between the U.S. and Pakistan can help us together face the consequences of the climate crisis and prepare our societies and economies to adapt to a changing future. There also is the critical challenge of preserving freedom and democracy. Our two countries share a common foundation as constitutional democracies. The United States deeply admires the profound sacrifices that so many Pakistanis have made to sustain freedom of expression, liberty of conscience, and open and fair elections. Democracy is in the blood of Pakistan, as it is in the blood of the United States, and our two countries must continue to demand and work toward the achievement of our highest democratic ideals.
Read Ambassador Blome’s full comments on the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Pakistan relations here