By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune
KARACHI: Pakistan can serve as the economic gateway to three important trading blocs, namely Iran-Turkey, eight SAARC countries and the former Soviet republics, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Mian Abrar Ahmad told city and port officials of Houston, Texas, during a meeting on Saturday, according to a press release.
Leading a seven-member KCCI delegation to the United States, Ahmad visited the City Hall and the Port of Houston Authority and held a meeting with the Houston Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council (MITDC) South Asia Division.
“Pakistan has top ratings in 13 products; including textile goods, milk and citrus fruits. With large reserves of copper, gold and coal, Pakistan is an ideal location for foreign investment,” Ahmad informed those present on the occassion. “We are here to invite investors to come to Pakistan. We also want to have access to American markets.”
The KCCI president regretted that there are certain American and international regulations that are discriminatory and based on quotas, and which result in Pakistan getting a smaller share of trade. “Although MITDC is a local body, we would still like it if the people of Houston take this message to decision-makers. After the bilateral investment treaty, the United States should also sign a free trade agreement to help Pakistani goods enter the US market, as US goods reach South and Central Asia,” Ahmad said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20, 2012.