Business community is playing major role in strengthening bilateral commercial relations between Pakistan and United States of America: Zakaria Usman
Karachi, March 24, 2014 (PPI-OT): The partnership between Pakistan and United States is broad-based, strategic, and long term. Pakistan and United States are enjoying cordial diplomatic and economic and trade relations, stated by Zakaria Usman, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in a meeting with US Consul General Michael Dodman who visited Federation House, Karachi on 24th March.
The meeting was attended by Shaukat Ahmed, Sr. Vice President, Ismail Sattar and Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of FPCCI, Mr. Amjad Rafi, Mr. Ishtiaq Baig and other leading businessmen.
While talking on bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and USA, Zakaria Usman told that the volume of trade during 2012-13 is $ 4,905 million as compared to US $ 4,728 million last year. Pakistan export to USA is $ 3887 million which was $ 3938 million last year.
While import of Pakistan from USA during 2012-13 is $ 1018 as compared to $ 789 million last year. Since long Pakistan is enjoying trade surplus of $ 2869 million. He further said that we highly admire this contribution, but we realize that this contribution does not reflect the real magnitude, potential available in our two countries.
The President said that Pakistan –US Business Council of FPCCI has been playing a vital role in facilitating its members across Pakistan but the parallel bodies with different titles which are running by local chambers or foreign trade missions should be minimized so that the efforts for enhancement the bilateral economic relations can be centralized and materialized as well.
He said that the joint business council or joint chamber of commerce is normally established by the national chambers of a country. He regretted that some JBCs and JCCIs in Pakistan with some countries who are either collaborate with local chambers or running individually under the patronage of embassies instead of FPCCI which is the national chamber and apex trade body of Pakistan.
On this occasion the Sr. Vice Presidents of FPCCI Shaukat Ahmed and Vice President Khurram Sayeed said that the GSP status of United States of America to Pakistan has been expired since long ago. It was a great incentive for Pakistan business community to tap the USA market.
This should be revived as early as possible because it significantly provides more access to our potential products in USA market. Besides, the matter of ROZs in Pakistan he said that it seems becomes frozen. Khurram Sayeed further informed the Consul General that FPCCI is organizing Pakistan’s Single Country Exhibition in Canada and we would love to hold the same event in USA after Canada. Khurram Sayeed requested the Consul General of USA to advise general trade fairs in which FPCCI may organize Pakistan’s participation.
Zakaria Usman said that the Business Community is playing major role in strengthening Pakistan – America bilateral commercial relations, they may be given separate status in processing visa. The USA visa process is sophisticated for new entrepreneurs which discourage them to apply for Visa.
President suggested that the US Investors can make investment in the energy and infrastructure development, textile, agri-business, food processing, surgical and leather products etc.
While responding the various issues raised by the office bearers of FPCCI, the Consul General of USA said that US Consulate General is focusing on the efforts for promotion of bilateral trade with Pakistan. He emphasized on the exchange of trade delegations from Pakistan to USA to establish people to people contact which is the most effective element for enhancing the bilateral and economic/commercial relations.
He informed that due to non-viability of ROZs in Pakistan it become not possible. However, the US authorities are thinking over it to what to do on it. He further informed that US Visa office deal every application on individual basis and process it. In case of new entrepreneur the visa officer if deem necessary may call him for interview to evaluate him.
For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332