RAWALPINDI      -          The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) in collaboration with Pakistan American Business Forum (PBAF) organized 3rd edition of Pak-US Business Summit at a local hotel on Thursday.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati was the chief guest on the occasion. In his address, he said that the Pakistan desires to have strong trade relations based on mutual interest and mutual inter-dependency. The government is committed to provide conducive environment for business activities and informed that legislation and reforms are being introduced to resolve issues linked with traders. The trade volume is low between the two countries and expressed hope those in coming years this will increase. He invited overseas Pakistanis to invest in different sectors. Appreciating the RCCI’s efforts for organizing the event, Azam Swati said that business community is the key stakeholder.

US Ambassador Paul W. Jones while addressing the summit appreciated PBAF and RCCI for organizing the moot and added that his office and embassy staff, commercial counselor Nathan Seifert and trade and economic officer are ready to provide all kind of assistance and cooperation.

It’s a greatest opportunity to build our relations and US-Pak trade relations are reflecting positive figures, he said, adding that Pakistani exports to US have been increased 6% in 2019 as compare to the same period in 2018 and referred that in 2018 the two way trade stands at 6.6 billion dollars.

There is a big opportunity for Pakistan to avail GSP facility and numbers shows that relatively a small portion of $280 million under GSP which I would say Pakistan exporters to take full advantage of GSP facility as major countries including India, Indonesia and Turkey lost GSP preferences. There is big market opportunity for traders mainly in sectors including food, animal products, footwear and vegetables, auto parts and table wear.

President RCCI Saboor Malik in his address said that the major purpose of the summit was to provide an opportunity to exchange the views and identify the hurdles in trade ties between the two business communities. The US has titled 2020 as Partners for Prosperity Year, which can only be materialized once we have an increase in people to people contact. Also, enhance cooperation with key organizations in both countries to ensure cohesive and coordinated strategies in promoting U.S. private sector interests in Pakistan, he added. We have many shared interests, including the education, human rights, peace, security, and economic development in Pakistan and in the region, he added. He also informed that the RCCI is organizing 5th edition of International Rawal Expo in the first week of April 2020 and invited US companies and the embassy to take part in the exhibition.

President Pakistan American Business Forum (PBAF) Riaz Hussain in his address highlighted the key objective of the forum with respect to Pakistan and US trade relations. Secretary PBAF Anwer Azam also addressed the summit and apprised the participants on business and tax laws in US.