ISLAMABAD: The United States and Pakistan on Wednesday formally launched a robust initiative envisaging a string of measures to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha launched the five-year project named the Investment Promotion Activity (IPA) to be implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The IPA will help strengthen Pakistan’s business environment, build the capacity of Pakistani institutions focused on investment promotion, attract foreign direct investment, and increase US-Pakistan bilateral trade and investment.

Overall, the project aims to reduce barriers to investment and trade by improving Pakistan’s investment promotion capabilities.

According to the US Census Bureau, the USA imported Pakistani goods worth nearly $5.3 billion in 2021, and investments in Pakistan went up by 50 per cent in the past year.

During the launch event, Ambassador Blome remarked that the US has been a leading investor in Pakistan for the past 20 years.

He further said that by building on and expanding that strong foundation of economic cooperation, “we are continuously seeking to increase bilateral trade, boost investment, and improve entrepreneurial and educational opportunities for Pakistanis”.

The US has long been Pakistan’s largest export market, with potential for further growth.

The project will also provide grants to firms registered in Pakistan that are interested in enhancing trade with the US and have the potential to attract foreign direct investments. These grants will play a critical role in connecting Pakistani firms with US investors and other countries.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2022

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