‘US companies keen to invest in Pak energy sector’April 24, 2013
Karachi: US companies have shown interest in investing in energy sector of Pakistan considering the great potential in power, oil and gas sector, said Chairman US-Pakistan Business Council-UPBC Miles Young here at Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry FPCCI on Wednesday.
The head of visiting delegation from USA, said that US companies including GE, Shell and other companies are already initiated their projects in Pakistan.
He said that UPBC is quite concerned about ongoing energy crisis in Pakistan and keen to resolve it. He said that UPBC represents major multinational companies of USA in Pakistan and the delegation is on fact-finding mission, seeking joint ventures and bilateral trade promotion during the visit.
He said that the lowest volume of FDI foreign direct investment from USA to Pakistan during the recent years was not due to any particular reason but it was due to economic crisis world over that also affected USA. He said that it was a misconception that USA has stopped FDI to Pakistan in recent times and should not be taken negatively.
He said that the biggest challenge for UPBC is to present Pakistan positively among the Us investors as media especially CNN and Fox TV are showing much against Pakistan now a days. He said that UPBC is not a branch of US government and that working independently. He suggested having dialogue between the two forums on political and economic issues.
He said that by and large it was a responsibility of the business community of the two countries to promote bilateral trade. He said that he is very much ambitious to boost trade and investment between the two sides. “We want to do business with Pakistan because it is a country of future”, Young said adding that despite the fact that security is the main concern here US investors and energy crisis is another issue here but the UPBC is committed to Pakistan.
Executive Director, UBBC, Esperanza Gomez said on the occasion that Pakistani exporters should avail GSP facility offered by US government and the UPBC is ready assist Pakistani exporters in utilizing this facility of preferential tariff on many items. She further said that UPBC could also help Pakistani investors to have joint venture with their US counterparts.
Acting President of FPCCI, Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana stated in his opening remarks that USA is a major trade and investment partner of Pakistan yet the volume of trade between the two friendly countries does not match the potential of trade. He said that Pakistan needs trade and not aid. Sarwana appreciated the support and assistance of US AID in various projects initiated in Pakistan.
He mentioned that Pakistan has remained in the forefront of war against terror, which badly hurt its economy particularly the foreign investments. He also objected on the travelling advise for the foreigners given by the US and European Union though unnecessarily sometimes. He also criticized the foreign media’s role in portraying negative image of Pakistan. He said that in this time of crises the friendly countries like USA should come forward to play an instrumental role taking out Pakistan from the crises. He pointed out that the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is $4.728 billion as compared to $5.221 billion last year.
Pakistan’s export to USA is $3.938 billion comparing to $4.102 billion last year. President Pakistan US Business Council PUBC Iftikhar Ali Malik has proposed to the visiting delegation to become instrumental in setting up joint ventures in various sectors especially in textiles as big potential exists in textiles.
He further said that energy sector is another big potential area of investment for US entrepreneurs guaranteeing big returns on their investments. Vice President FPCCI Gulzar Firoz has pointed out that US buyers are procuring Pakistani leathers products through Far Eastern markets while both the countries could benefit through joint ventures.
Chairman FPCCI Press and Media Committee Shaikh Manzar Alam and Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Anti-Smuggling Committee, Syed Abdul Waheed Shah also spoke on the occasion.