KARACHI - Bad news from Pakistan is decreasing and we Pakistani businessmen are on a go-forward basis in investing and enhancing our exposure in Pakistan. There is going to be a fundamental structural change in the nations economy as Pakistan is about to rebound. We believe that this is the big opportunity to shine and we do not want to miss the boat. Therefore, now is the time to think Pakistan and now is the time to invest in Pakistan. Majyd Aziz, former President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated this in a passionate speech at the United States Trade Development Agency in Washington D.C. recently. Majyd Aziz, who was part of the ten member Pakistani delegation invited by USTDA for a ten-day Pakistan Intermodal Freight Transportation Orientation Visit, further said that the government is formulating an investor-friendly and country-specific Special Economic Zones Policy to facilitate the foreign companies. He gave the example of the Japan SEZ being set up in Karachi. He also advised the American investors to participate in setting up the Karachi Mass Transit Rail since many foreign companies have shown interest in the project. He said that there are many sectors in which American investment is required and which can be very lucrative for them. He said that Pakistan is placing greater emphasis on coal based power plants, livestock and dairy farming, transportation such as railroads and trucking, medical technology, chrome ore and marble mining, and oil and gas development, etc. Moreover, under the Kerry-Lugar Act, a substantial amount would be earmarked for social infrastructure development and thus American construction companies can participate in construction of hospitals and schools. He said that water shortage is of major concern and the country needs latest technology in water conservation and purification. He also advised them to look into alternate and renewable energy projects that are of vital importance to Pakistan. The delegation comprising of representatives from the private and public sectors also participated in the Intermodal Expo and Transcomp Exhibition held at the Anaheim California Convention Center as special guests of the National Industrial Transportation League. Speaking on behalf of the Pakistan delegation at the luncheon, Majyd Aziz said that today Pakistan is Page One news and is open for business. He said we are good partners and we also need to be treated with respect. He said that Pakistan needs the new cutting edge technology being developed in USA and that the Pakistani workers and technicians are capable of learning and operating the latest technology. He said that the United States has decades of experience in coal technology while Pakistan with its vast reserves needs expertise in developing the economic viability of coal. He called for joint ventures in the transportation sector and stated that with the economy growing at a faster pace, Pakistan needs more locomotive engines, rail cars, signalling system, and latest trucks. He said there is going to be an acute shortage of trucks and this is one field that the Americans must enter in Pakistan. He said that the National Trade Corridor is a visionary policy of the government and this would open new vistas for investment in the trucking sector. The delegation also visited Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in California, Port of Virginia in Norfolk and the Virginia International Terminals in Front Royal Virginia where they were given extensive briefings on the workings of the ports. The delegation also visited Washington where they met American investors at USTDA and also visited Ex-Im Bank, OPIC, World Bank, and other organisations. The Chairman and President of Ex-Im Bank personally welcomed the delegation at the Bank and expressed his desire to promote and finance projects in Pakistan. The delegation visit was coordinated and planned by The Cornell Group of Washington. (PR)