PAL-C Hosts High-Level Karachi Trade Delegation

Washington, DC: The Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) hosted in Washington, DC a visiting high-powered trade delegation from Pakistan’s Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). The KCCI delegation visited our nation’s capital from July 29th to August 2nd.
The purpose of the visit was to highlight Pakistan as ‘business-friendly’, to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as American economic assistance to Pakistan, to promote fair market access in the United States for Pakistani goods, to establish Track II diplomatic channels between the businessmen of both countries, to explore avenues of diffusing Pakistan’s energy crisis by inviting the American energy industry to invest more heavily into Pakistan, and to show support of the Pakistani business community for the joint Pakistan-plan, called “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” (ROZ), to allow Pakistani goods manufactured in certain designated areas to be exported to US markets with duty-free status.
While still in Karachi, Mr. Majyd Aziz – the President of KCCI – personally reached out to PAL-C and requested a meeting with PAL-C leadership. Mr. Aziz, at the advice of the American Embassy in Islamabad, also requested PAL-C to organize meetings on Capitol Hill with members of the Congress for the KCCI delegates. From that moment on, PAL-C took the lead in organizing and coordinating the meetings with the Department of State, Department of Commerce, the American Embassy in Islamabad, the US-Pakistan Business Council, and members of the Congress.
The delegation consisted of Pakistani businessmen from almost all sectors of the Pakistani industry, and represented the commercial hub of Pakistan – the vibrant city of Karachi. The members of the delegation were: Majyd Aziz, Saqib Naseem, Abdul Basit, Salahuddin Ahmed, Mohammad Younus Soomro, Arshad Islam, Altaf Majeed S.T., Ovais Siddik Jaangda, Muhammad Haroon Agar, Faisal Khalil, M. Muzzammil Husain, Ashraf Abdul Sattar, Shamoon Bakir Ali, Mohammad Usman, and Mohammad Idrees.
The KCCI spent three days in Washington, DC with PAL-C during which time they had meetings with American government officials at the Department of State and Department of State. At the State Department, PAL-C accompanied the delegates to their meetings with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade Policy and Programs Mr. Chris Moore and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Mr. John Gastright Jr., along with other senior staff including the new American Consul General to Karachi, Ms. Kay Anske.
PAL-C also accompanied the KCCI delegates to the Chamber of Commerce, for a meeting with the US-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) and its member companies. Ms. Esperanza Gomez Jelalian, Executive Director of the USPBC, emphasized the great returns that American companies are seeing on their investment in Pakistan and introduced the delegation to giant American corporations such as Boeing, General Electric and Ledtronics that are providing jobs and growth to the Pakistani people.
On July 30th, PAL-C held a dinner in honor of the KCCI delegation at the residence of National Director, Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai in Vienna, Virginia. The guests comprised of Pakistani businessmen, political activists, young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs, American corporate representatives, as well as Pakistani and American government officials. At the dinner, Mr. Mossadaq Chughtai personally asked his guests to support investment and trade in Pakistan, and to urge members of Congress to support the ROZ initiative.
On July 30 and 31, PAL-C took the KCCI delegates to Capitol Hill for one-on-one meetings with key members of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus and influential policymakers. In the short duration of two days, the KCCI and PAL-C held eight meetings on Capitol Hill, and shared their concerns on various issues with members of Congress.
Comprehensive dialogue was held with the co-chairs of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus – Rep, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN). Meetings were also held with the following Members of Congress: Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). A private briefing was also organized for professional staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where nine congressional offices were represented.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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