U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited Islamabad to open the third U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference, an event intended to engage the private sectors from both the United States and Pakistan, strengthen business-to-business ties, and boost bilateral trade and investment. Addressing an audience of more than 400 people, many attending from overseas, the Secretary applauded the work being done by the Pakistani and American private sector companies represented. She commended them for engaging with government agencies seeking to improve Pakistan’s business and investment climate and called on them to continue their efforts to expand trade and investment between Pakistan and the United States.
“The friendship between our two countries is strong,” said Secretary Pritzker. “In addition to the work we do as government leaders, American businesses have a critical role to play as we seek to deepen our economic partnerships around the world and here in Pakistan.”
In addition to calling for more trade and investment, the Secretary urged the Government of Pakistan to improve the business climate by implementing measures to increase transparency, enforce contracts, and streamline bureaucracy. Secretary Pritzker expressed her hope that the private sector in Pakistan would create greater opportunities for women in the workplace across all sectors of the economy.
This is the first time that the U.S.-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference has taken place in Pakistan. Previous conferences took place in London in 2012 and Dubai in 2013. The Secretary lauded the opportunity to bring the private sectors of both countries together to build business to business ties and boost bilateral trade and investment, and asked the audience, “What better way to boost bilateral trade than to invite American companies to Islamabad so they can meet face to face with the Pakistan’s business community?” The conference agenda included panel discussions on privatization, finance options and investment opportunities, as well as breakout sessions to facilitate networking between various industries and to discuss women’s inclusion in the economy.