ISLAMABAD -  William Laitinen, Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Islamabad, on Wednesday visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) along with his team and said that the United States is keen to cooperate with Pakistan in energy sector.

William said that many US companies were interested to explore Pakistan for export of LNG, adding that Pakistan could overcome its energy problem by developing close collaboration with the US. He said the US was one of the largest export destinations for Pakistan and bilateral trade between the two countries was improving.

He said USAID was working in Pakistan to contribute for improving its economy. He further said that Pakistan has taken most advantages of US’s GSP scheme as its exports to the US were improving. He said the US wanted continuous engagement with Pakistan for economic benefit of both countries, adding that people-to-people contacts were important to realise these objectives.

On the occasion, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that Pakistan and the US have a broad and multi-faceted partnership in education, energy, trade and investment. However, bilateral trade between the two countries was still not up to their real potential. He stressed that private sectors of both countries should be given enhanced role to improve trade relations. He said GSP scheme of the US should be further extended for Pakistan. He said more Pakistani products should be given easy market access in the US so that Pakistan could improve its exports.

He said Pakistan was an agricultural country and the US should cooperate with it in upgrading its agriculture sector on modern lines. He said CPEC has created many new business prospects in Pakistan and the US investors should explore possibilities of joint ventures and investment in this mega project. He said Pakistan was a potential market for pharmaceutical industry and emphasized that US should cooperate in establishing modern pharma research labs in Pakistan.

The ICCI senior vice president said that Pakistan and the US have good potential to enhance cooperation in many fields and both countries should facilitate private sectors in trade promotion efforts. ICCI Vice President Tahir Ayub urged that the US should transfer its agriculture machinery, technology and expertise to Pakistan for improving agricultural productivity.