A U.S.-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) delegation comprised of 26 senior executives from leading American companies in the IT, energy, and consumer goods sectors visited Islamabad January 13 to 15 for a series of meetings aimed at increasing bilateral trade and American investment in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan welcomed USPBC Chairman Miles Young, CEO of advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather, and Dr. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman of Pepsi, as state guests. The delegation attended a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Sharif at his official residence, and the delegation also met with other high level officials, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, and Board of Investment Chairman Miftah Ismail.
Ambassador David Hale hosted the delegation at the Embassy, where the group discussed opportunities and challenges facing American companies in Pakistan. In his remarks, Ambassador Hale underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening economic ties between the two countries. “Economic engagement is a key part of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan and the U.S. government is committed to deepening that engagement. We realize, however, that government alone cannot increase this engagement. In order to do that, the private sector is essential,” Ambassador Hale said.
The United States is the largest destination for Pakistani exports and is one of the country’s primary sources of foreign direct investment (FDI). USPBC is a Washington-based affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to advancing American commercial engagement with Pakistan. Its members include small, medium, and multinational companies that export to or invest in Pakistan. The Chamber has maintained an ongoing and active role in promoting private sector engagement in Pakistan and works closely with the American Business Forum in Lahore and the American Business Council in Karachi.