Pakistan today has real potential for economic growth and development. The goals and strategies laid out in Pakistan Vision 2025 are evidence that the country is focused on a way forward. With the markets showing positive signs and a youth demographic boom underway, now is the time for Pakistan to show the world that the country is open for business. Eliminating bottlenecks in commerce, investment, and entrepreneurship will open up opportunities for trade and economic growth.

The United States is your partner in achieving these goals. We are committed to working with Pakistan to achieve sustainable growth and together, we are building the relationships and frameworks that will turn aspirations for growth into reality. We are proud that the United States is both Pakistan’s largest export market and one of its largest investors. In 2013, two-way trade totalled over $5 billion, higher than the gross domestic product of 40 countries during the same year. U.S. companies have invested $1.3 billion in the Pakistani economy in the last seven years.

To promote even more trade, Board of Investment Chairman Dr. Miftah Ismail and I led an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) trade mission in October to Washington D.C. and Silicon Valley on the heels of a successful 3G auction that will pave the way for rapid growth in Pakistan’s ICT sector. This is the second trade mission that I have led as Ambassador to Pakistan. Last year’s oil and gas trade mission was a great success and yielded direct business deals worth $15 million. This year’s ICT trade mission has the potential to be even more successful. These trade missions are important because the more we can create personal and business-to-business linkages, which are not subject to the ups and downs of international politics, the stronger our ties will become over the long run.

Also in October, Finance Minister Dar and U.S. Under Secretary for Economics, Energy, and Business Catherine Novelli joined forces to lead the Economic and Finance Working Group, one of the key mechanisms in the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue that helps shape our economic engagement. The discussion centered on the concrete steps our countries are taking to improve trade and investment ties. In fact, we jointly announced a “U.S.-Pakistan Economic Partnership Week” in early 2015, during which the Business Opportunities Conference and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting will take place. Earlier this year, we agreed on a TIFA Action Plan that would dramatically increase bilateral trade over the next two years. We continue to work with the government of Pakistan on implementation of this plan.

Another way the United States is supporting Pakistan’s economic growth goals is by addressing one of the largest bottlenecks to productivity in Pakistan – the electricity shortage. Overall, the U.S. government has funded projects adding 1,400 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan’s national grid, and will facilitate the addition of another 2,000 megawatts by 2018 by making existing projects more efficient and using clean energy technology. Recently, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation and General Electric teamed up to invest in five wind energy projects in Sindh province. GE will provide the turbines for all five projects. The Alternative Energy Development Board has estimated this joint venture will produce a total of 256 megawatts of electricity by the end of 2014 and 600 megawatts by the end of 2015.

Finally, we are proud supporters of Pakistan’s promising young entrepreneurs who will contribute to the next generation of economic innovations. Just a few weeks ago, the Pakistan Association of Software Houses (P@SHA) opened the largest technology incubation center in the country. This initiative is supported by the U.S. government, Google, and other private firms. Soon, the U.S. Embassy will inaugurate the WeCreate Center in Islamabad made possible by a grant from the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. WeCreate will recruit talented women entrepreneurs to receive training, mentorship, and start-up capital.

This is just a glimpse of a much larger picture of economic cooperation between the United States and Pakistan. There is still much to be done and the United States stands by your side as Pakistan undertakes challenging but necessary steps to address security concerns and adhere to the important agreement with the International Monetary Fund. We encourage Pakistan to continue its work to restructure public enterprises, counter the energy shortfall, undertake an ambitious privatization program, and reshape the regulatory environment.

We look toward building partnerships with the private sector, both in Pakistan and the U.S., to leveraging investment, and to deepening trade ties. For the U.S.-Pakistan relationship to continue to grow, it is going to have to be less about what our two governments do than about what our peoples and businesses can accomplish together.

The writer is U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.