ISLAMABAD: The US wants to see Pakistan break the cycle of going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and adapt structural reforms to stabilise the economy, said the Economic Counsellor at US Embassy Michael A. Sullivan.
Talking to media personnel, the counsellor said that “we certainly believe that IMF-led programme is the best possible option for Pakistan”.
Pakistan has had 12 IMF programmes since 1988, spending more time under the fund-led policies than the democratically elected governments.
On a question whether US will support Pakistan’s request to IMF for assistance, Sullivan said the US is ready to provide assistance to Pakistan’s government. The counsellor said that Pakistan needs economic certainty to achieve sustainable growth.
He also said that the US has a very strong economic relationship with Pakistan despite the widening political gap between the two countries.
The bilateral trade between the two countries is around $7 billion and is likely to increase further in the coming years.
According to Pakistani entrepreneurs attending the 2018 ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week’, the seeds of innovation, job creation, and a startup culture already exist in Pakistan – it will just take hard work and a supportive environment to stimulate creativity and innovation.
Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is celebrated across 170 countries around the globe, connects aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs and advocates for an economic environment conducive to innovation.
Culminating the week-long celebration, acting US Ambassador Paul Jones hosted an event at US embassy to celebrate entrepreneurs and other individuals who support Pakistan’s business landscape.
He said that the US government is committed towards supporting Pakistani entrepreneurs and also sent a team to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India, which focused on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering global economic growth.
In 2018, the US government sent 25 Pakistani women social entrepreneurs along with their peers from India to a workshop in Dubai called TechCamp South Asia: Connecting Women Change-makers.
The US mission also hosted a roundtable where Pakistani entrepreneurs who received assistance through USAID programmes shared their experiences, challenges, and successes with their peers. US missions in Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore also held discussions on entrepreneurial culture and encouraging persistence.
Highlighting the importance of entrepreneurship week for Pakistani entrepreneurs, US Economic Counsellor, Michael Sullivan said that this is a golden time for the government which campaigned for job creation and employment opportunities to promote innovation. He said that the US also wants to see a strong and economically vibrant Pakistan.
Evaluating the programme, he said that there is a huge potential in Pakistani entrepreneurs but they only require access to networks especially women to succeed. They have ideas but do not have access to markets, he remarked.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018