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Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Islamabad—”Private sector in Pakistan wants to establish business relationships with the US based companies”, this was the consensus at the third roundtable on “Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Development in Pakistan”. The roundtable was organized by the leading U.S. think tank based out of Washington D.C., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in collaboration with Mishal Pakistan, a leading research institution in the country working on economic research and media development.
Stakeholders from business community, policy makers, entrepreneurs and media discussed the possibilities to build linkages between Pakistani and U.S. entrepreneurs, said a press release issued here on Wednesday.
Sadika Hameed, expert, renowned economist and fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said,”Pakistan has immense potential in certain sectors such as agribusiness, dairy, FMCGs and information communication technology (ICT) are widely recognized as lucrative industries with great potential for U.S. entrepreneurs. Additionally, there are untapped opportunities particularly in regard to research, data and knowledge-based technologies that the United States is well positioned to capitalize on.”
Pakistan would especially welcome investments in human resource development, that will also further U.S. business interests, Hameed added. Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan informed the participants that, Pakistan offers a relatively good environment on the Ease of Doing Business as compared to other similar economies in the region. The World Bank in its Doing Business Data for 2014 ranks Pakistan at 110 out of 184 economies globally, whereas the average regional score for South Asia is 121.
China is ranked at 96 and all other economies in the region lagged behind. In comparison to other countries in the region Pakistan outperforms Egypt at 128, Bangladesh 130, India 134, Bhutan 141 and Ira at 152.
It was also identified that Pakistan is ripe with opportunities for alternative financing to traditional collateral based lending, especially for the enterprising youth, who do not have the initial capital. The foreign investors have another reason to invest in Pakistan. As western investors seek to hedge against market volatility, they seek to diversify their investments and reduce exposure to any one market. The roundtable was a follow-up to stakeholders’ meetings in Lahore and Karachi in March.