Hafeez Shaikh lauds US support for FATF, COVID-19, G-20 debt relief

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (APP):Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Thursday appreciated the support extended by the United States in Financial Action Task Force (FATF), COVID-19 and in getting debt relief from the G-20 countries.

“We value our relationship with the US, particularly the business collaborations which have a great potential of growth, given the opportunities for business and investment available in Pakistan,” he said while speaking during a virtual discussion with the office-bearers and members of the US-Pakistan Business Council here at the Finance Division.

Esperanza Jelalian, president of the US-Pakistan Business Council, Charles Freeman, senior vice-president Asia of US Chamber of Commerce, Steven Kobos, chairman of the US-Pakistan Business Council, Dr. Asad M. Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the US and other senior office-bearers and members of the US-Pakistan Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce also attended the discussion.

During the discussion, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh conveyed heartfelt sympathies from the government and the people of Pakistan on the loss of precious lives in the US due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Pakistani leadership had met President Trump thrice in the past and the visit by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to Pakistan earlier this year, was manifestation of the growing trade and investment ties between the two countries.

He said the business environment in Pakistan, facilitated by a greater ease of doing business, improved regulations and huge market potential, was ideal for investment and joint ventures by the US businessmen.

The Adviser said the government had recently announced a Rs 1.2 trillion stimulus package that included direct cash transfers, payment of tax refunds, subsidized credits and payroll loans, to shore up the economy and boost businesses.

Similarly, the upcoming budget was being designed in a way to provide maximum relief and incentives to the businesses and promote trade by reducing tariff on a large number of items of raw material.

Speaking on the occasion, Esperanza Jelalian, president of the US-Pakistan Business Council and Steven Kobos, chairman of the US-Pakistan Business Council, said the US government and the businessmen considered Pakistan as an important trade partner and the visit by US Secretary of Commerce to Pakistan was an evidence of the degree of importance the US attached to
Pakistan.

They hoped the bilateral collaborations between the two countries would further grow in the upcoming times.