Islamabad, March 20, 2023: The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad on March 19 concluded the “U.S.-Pakistan Innovation Expo” to showcase the success stories of U.S. government-sponsored Pakistani startups and to encourage further investment in them. The two-day expo provided a platform for established startups to showcase their business ideas and prototypes, and network with potential U.S. and Pakistani venture capitalists and investors.
In his opening remarks at the event, U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome said, “One of the top priorities of the U.S. government is promoting inclusive economic growth and increasing trade and investment between the United States and Pakistan. The United States is already Pakistan’s largest export market and every year we are seeing more and more U.S. investment come to Pakistan – but there is still room to grow and entrepreneurs like you are central to that effort. Pakistan is a country with immense potential, but it needs innovation and technology to take it to the next level.” Since 2012, the U.S. Embassy has funded over 181 entrepreneurship-related projects valued at $14.7 million dollars. He was joined by Chief Executive Officer at Ignite National Technology Fund, Asim Shahryar, who acknowledged the efforts of the U.S. government in supporting entrepreneurial activities in Pakistan.
Senior Advisor for the Asia Foundation Pakistan, Haris Qayyum, expressed appreciation for the ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Embassy and National Incubation Center to highlight success of Pakistani startups. He further stated, “The U.S.-Pakistan Innovation Expo is an endorsement of Pakistan’s dynamic tech entrepreneurs. It exemplifies Pakistan-U.S. bilateral trade, foreign direct investment, and technological innovation. The Asia Foundation is committed to the collaborative efforts supporting Pakistan’s tech ecosystem, as we continue. The Asia Foundation is honored to partner on initiatives that value entrepreneurship and innovation. It is our goal to support Pakistan’s sustainable development and inclusive growth.”
The Expo featured a speaker session for venture capitalists and angel investors led by an American expert. Business leaders and investors from Pakistan, the Middle East, and the United States attended the event and discussed the opportunities and challenges in the Pakistani startup ecosystem. Project Director at the National Incubation Center, Parvez Abbasi said, “I am thrilled to see the U.S.-Pakistan Innovation Expo come to fruition. This event is a demonstration of the power of collaboration between our two nations and the endless possibilities that arise when we combine our talents and resources. I am grateful to all the participants and organizers who have made this expo a success and look forward to seeing the incredible innovations that will emerge from this partnership.”
The delegates at the Expo showed great enthusiasm for the event and expressed confidence that it would encourage further investment opportunities and potential trade partnerships between United States and Pakistan. They expressed their desire to see more initiatives like this in the future that support and grow Pakistan’s startup ecosystem.