March 19, 2004
Contact: Esperanza Gomez
U.S. Business Delegation Concludes Meetings in
A delegation of leading businesses from the United States visited Pakistan
from March 15-19 to explore opportunities for investment. The delegation,
organized by the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, held meetings with senior Pakistani government officials in Islamabad
to discuss avenues for promoting increased investment from the United States.
Ambassador Ashley Wills, U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia, accompanied
the delegation to meetings with government officials in Islamabad.
The U.S. business delegates also met with U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell
to discuss the role of the U.S. Embassy in business facilitation, U.S.
assistance to Pakistan, and U.S.-Pakistan relations in general. Ambassador
Powell encouraged trade and investment in Pakistan.
The delegation met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mian Khursheed
Kasuri, the Minister of Finance Shaukat Aziz, the Minister of Commerce
Humayun Akhtar Khan, the Federal Minister for Investment and Privatization,
Dr. Hafeez Shaikh, and the Minister of Information Technology Awais Ahmad
Khan Leghari. Secretary of Commerce Kamal Afsar hosted a dinner and
the Chairman of the Senate Mohammad Mian Soomro hosted a luncheon in honor
of the delegation.
The delegation praised the success of the Government of Pakistan, including
the country’s growth rate and increasing foreign currency reserves.
The delegates suggested areas where they felt the government could improve
the climate for foreign direct investment. These areas include: clarification
and implementation of intellectual property rights laws, as well as effective
execution of government policies to promote foreign direct investment.
The delegation also stressed the need to promote Pakistan as an attractive
venue for U.S. investment.
During the meeting with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, Sweetwater International
Inc., a charter member of the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council signed a distributor
agreement with Life Technologies, (Pvt.) Ltd. and an MOU with Network Leasing
Corporation Ltd. More recently, Sweetwater signed an agreement in
Washington, D.C. with Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to
provide $1.1 million in insurance to Sweetwater International for their
investment in Pakistan.
While in Lahore, the U.S. business representatives met with the Lahore
Chamber of Commerce. They were also hosted by the Governor of Punjab,
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Khalid Maqbool at the Governor’s residence. In Karachi,
the delegates met with the American Business Council of Pakistan and the
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The executive delegation included companies who have had successful
business ventures in Pakistan and who are looking for continued expansion,
as well as those exploring new investment opportunities in Pakistan.
The presence of the executive delegation in Pakistan demonstrated that
the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan has been reinvigorated.
Members of the delegation included: Ahmet Bozer, President, Eurasia
and the Middle East Division, Coca-Cola; Farukh Aslam, Vice President,
Touchstone Communications, Inc.; Sal Aziz, President and CEO, Delta Matrix,
Inc.; Richard Brecher, Director, Global Business Relations, Motorola; Najeeb
Ghauri, Chairman, NetSol Technologies, Inc.; Edward Jackson, Chairman and
CEO, Sweetwater Intl, Inc.; Zoff Khan, Director, Business Development,
Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Motorola; Asheesh Khaneja, Executive
Director, Business and Strategy Development, Asia Pacific, Oracle Corporation
– Singapore; Pervaiz Lodhie, President and CEO, Ledtronics, Inc.; Kursat
Ozkan, Corporate Regional Executive, General Electric; Adeel Shah, Chairman
and CEO, Telnia Corporation; Furqan H. Siddiqi, Vice President, Asia, Synergics
Energy Development; Thomas R. Slone, Chairman and CEO, Touchstone Communications,
Inc.; C. Nigel Thompson, Executive Director, Economic and Development Strategy,
Merck & Co., Inc.; and Abubaker Vakil, Board Member, Lights of America,
The U.S.-Pakistan Business Council is the leading private sector association
of U.S. companies with business and investment interest in Pakistan.
The Council is part of South Asia Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
in Washington, DC and operates under the administrative aegis of the Chamber
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a private sector organization and is
the world’s largest business federation representing over 3.5 million companies
of every size, sector and region.