Islamabad, December 3, 2014 – The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) hosted U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson for a discussion with business and industry leaders on December 3 in Karachi. Ambassador Olson’s remarks emphasized the importance of continued cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in order to enhance trade and investment ties and support Pakistan’s entrepreneurs.
Ambassador Olson highlighted how both countries are partnering to create a “pro-business, pro-investment, and pro-innovation climate.” He said, “We are proud that the United States is both Pakistan’s largest trading partner and one of its largest investors. In 2013, two-way trade totaled more than $5 billion and U.S. companies have invested $1.3 billion in the Pakistani economy in the last seven years.”
Ambassador Olson also outlined how both countries are moving from “an assistance-based relationship to one based more on trade and investment” and the United States’ commitment to supporting long-term self-sufficiency for Pakistan. He pointed out that the United Sates is partnering with Pakistan to achieve growth and build a foundation for commercial success by building business ties and industry capacity, supporting Pakistan’s young entrepreneurs, and addressing some of the challenges that have slowed the pace of economic growth in Pakistan.
The Ambassador also spoke about the October meeting of the Economic and Finance Working Group, an element of the Strategic Dialogue, led by Under Secretary for Economics, Energy, and Business Catherine Novelli and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The working group focused on the concrete steps both countries are taking to improve trade and investment ties, such as the joint announcement of a U.S.-Pakistan Economic Partnership Week in early 2015.
Ambassador Olson concluded his remarks by highlighting the important role that business and industry leaders can play in economic growth by saying, “…for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship to continue to grow, it is going to have to be less about what our two governments do than about what our peoples and businesses can accomplish together. ”