Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells says that United States is planning to send Pakistan fifteen trade delegations in the next year with a target to explore areas for expanding trade between US and Pakistan.
Ms. Well was reading a paper at Washington think-tank, Wilson Centre last week. The paper mainly was about the CPEC but contained suggestions for US-Pakistan trade ties expansions. The paper has been posted at the official site of US State Department and it says that United States Commerce Department has “already stepped up its activity in Pakistan with 15 trade delegations planned for the next year”.
Once the new expanded DFC (Development Finance Corporation) is up & running, “Pakistan is going to be a country of great interest”
Paper says that investment cap available to DFC will be more than double than the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) i.e. $60bn from $29 billion. This increase will help investment in high standard & financially sustainable projects. Overseas Private Investment Corporation is an agency of US government for mobilizing private capital for overseas investments.
While motivating Pakistan to avail these additional US resources, Ms Wells reminded Islamabad last week that “true sustainable development is really a marathon and not a sprint. It requires the development of effective regulatory framework, strong rule of law, fiscal health, and an enabling business climate”.
While discussing the Pakistani PM’s visit to US in July; she said that US President was “extremely enthusiastic about the potential for increasing and expanding our US-Pakistan trade and investment relationship. Both the governments are working very hard to find practical ways to do that. We commend Pakistan for surging 28 slots on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business ranking and being highlighted as one of the top ten reformers globally”.
In her paper she discussed the already existing commercial connections between US and Pakistan. As an example she quoted Excelerate (a US firm) that is to potentially investing more than $300 million for upgrading a floating storage regasification unit in Pakistan’s first LNG terminal. ExxonMobil has also been working for supporting Pakistan’s determined effort to access new LNG supplies.
PepsiCo invested $800m over the last 5 years for expanding its infrastructure & to diversify products
In the last couple of years, Coca-Cola has invested $500m for generating thousands of jobs in Pakistan. In 2016, US company Uber Technologies entered in Pakistani market. Currently it is operating across 9 cities and providing thousands of employment opportunities in Pakistan.
The paper expresses that the United States social models are outstanding vehicles creating jobs & opportunities for communities associated with the foreign investments.
For instance, United States – Pakistan Women Council, promotes cooperation between Pakistan and American private sector to mentor girls and women.
KFC, an American Brand supports education for children having hearing disabilities & other underprivileged people by partnering with schools throughout Pakistan.
Proctor & Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme has also provided 875m litres of clean drinking water to Pakistani communities.
United States has also provided help in establishing some of the most prestigious educational institutes like LUMS, IBA, JPMC and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy at Nust in Pakistan.
“And just to be crystal clear, the US-Pakistan development partnership has primarily taken the form of grants — not loans,” Ms Wells said while adding that such links “offer a sense of the direction that we envision”.