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HYDERABAD: US Con­sul General Brian Heath has said that exchange of trade delegations helps boost trade between the United States and Pakistan and added that his country will try to establish an information technology park in Hyderabad to promote information technology.

He said that Pakistan-US political and trade relations were quite stable as Pakistan was the biggest ally of the US.

He was speaking at a reception at the residence of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) President Goharul­lah here on Friday night.

Mr Heath said that HCCI delegations had visited US trade exhibitions and it was his fourth visit to Hyderabad.

He said that US investors were monitoring conditions for investment purposes in Pakistan because they were keen to invest in the country.

Earlier, the HCCI president welcomed the US diplomat and said that wider space was available in the US market for Pakistani products.

He recalled that three delegations of the HCCI had participated in US trade exhibitions.

He said that US investors could invest in agro-based industries, power and constructions sectors and waste management.

Mr Goharullah said that the IT sector remained neglected in Hyderabad and sought US cooperation for establishment of an IT park in the city for students.

Senior Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Khalid Tawwab said latest figures showed that yarn, clothing, textile apparel, leather and sports products and surgical items worth $3.6 billion had been exported to the US and machinery, boilers, telecommunication products and other goods amounting to $1.9bn imported from the US.

He said that US-Pakistan relations had shown stability over the past 10 years and added that political relations between the two countries also impacted their trade ties.

He said that the recent volume of foreign investment in Pakistan showed a declining trend, adding that US investors should be informed that Pakistan offered a better place for investment because of its liberal investment policy.

He said that a bilateral trade agreement was the need of the hour.

MUET: Speaking at another ceremony, the US diplomat congratulated 20 students and faculty of the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) who are part of the US-Pakistan Centres for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W), funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). They will travel to the University of Utah for conducting research under the organisation’s exchange programme.

“We are proud to empower women scientists and researchers in Pakistan to solve its water problems,” Mr Heath said.

MUET Vice Chancellor Mohammad Aslam Uqaili, USPCAS-W Programme Di­­re­ctor Dr Bakhshal Lashari, University of Utah Chief of Party Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry and USAID Depu­­ty Director Craig Buck were present.

The USAID has signed a $14.8 million cooperative ag­­reement with the MUET and a $9m accord with the Uni­versity of Utah to establish the Centre for Advanced Stu­dies in Water in the MUET.

The University of Utah is providing technical assistance to the MUET to educate and train the next generation of water sustainability leaders by improving the MUET’s technical and institutional capacities to deliver high-quality education and applied research.

Over the next three years, 250 USPCAS-W students and faculty will spend a semester in US universities for water research in state-of-art laboratories.

The exchanges will help upgrade teaching skills, enh­ance industry awareness and build corporate relationships.

The partnership enco­m­passes curriculum development, research and estab­­lishment of new laboratories.

The USPCAS-W is part of the USAID’s $127m investment to develop innovative and practical solutions to Pakistan’s energy, water, agriculture and food security challenges.

VISIT TO FORT: The US consul general also visited the historical Ranikot fort in Jamshoro district along with the divisional administration officials.

He said that Sindh had im­p­o­rtant archaeological sites and efforts would be made for their international exposure to invite attention of tourists

The administration officials briefed him on historical facts about the fort and said that research on the fort was still under way. They said that from time to time schemes had been designed for the fort’s conservation and efforts should also be made to highlight its historical significance at the international level.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2016