Stabilized Pakistan set for greater investment: Khurram Dastgir

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NEW YORK, June 3 (APP): Pakistan has made significant progress in fighting the menace of terrorism and  promoting economic stability and is set for greater  investment, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told a  major business conference on Friday.

“Peace and stability has been restored to a great extent
and business activity has picked up tremendously,”he said at
the main session of the Fourth US-Pakistan Business
Opportunities conference being held at Citicorp in New York.

The two-day conference, the fourth in a series, is the first to
be held in the United States. The previous conferences took place  in London, Dubai and Islamabad.

About 300 industry representatives, investors, and
government leaders from the two countries as well as
emerging professionals and entrepreneurs were present.

He said after years of terrorist attacks and  economic difficulties, Pakistan has settled into a period of  relative calm. Terrorist attacks have declined by more than 70
percent and life was back to normal. Development work had picked  up pace.

Through concerted effort, the minister said Pakistan
had successfully removed the two main impediments in the way  of economic development — the unstable law and order situation  and uncertain power supply to the industry.

Khurram Dastgir Khan hoped that the conference will
foster enhanced US-Pakistan trade and investment ties, as he  highlighted the progress Pakistan is is making under the leadership  of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

The minister appreciated the role and partnership of US in
achieving the successes in economic and other fields.

He said that US remains the biggest trade partner of Pakistan and  it is the country’s principle export destination.

“There is  always space to grow and increase trade and business among  both the countries,” he said.

Pakistan’s regional focus and enhanced connectivity had made it  the hub of economic activity in the region and beyond, he said.

Earlier, Bruce Andrews, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce, said  he was confident that the conference will foster
enhanced U.S.-Pakistan trade and investment ties,  highlight progress Pakistan is making on the economic reform  agenda, and signal to the American business community and the  world that Pakistan was prepared to partner on a range of  promising business ventures. “I consider this a core part of my role as ‘commercial diplomat’, he added.

Ambassador Richard Olson, U.S. Special Representative
for Afghanistan and Pakistan, also spoke of Pakistan’s
economic progress during the past three years and the
improved security situation, saying the country is now open for business.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Jalil Abbas
Jilani, said this conference, with understanding the  dynamics and working of business environment in both countries is leading to the possibility of joint ventures.