LAHORE - US Economic Officer Doreen Bailey has said that the United States is keen to strengthen trade and economic relations with Pakistan in all sectors of the economy and to achieve the goal.  She was talking to the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar during a visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday.

During the meeting a host of issues, including Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, Pak-India trade and Pak-US economic relations came under discussion. The two sides pledged to take the bilateral economic ties to new heights.  Doreen Bailey said that the Pakistani businessmen should avail opportunities available under US GSP Scheme. She said that there are lot of opportunities for Pakistani businessmen in US market therefore they should visit their counterparts to get benefit of them.

She also appreciated continuity of the democratic process in Pakistan and hoped that the new government would work on economic challenges more enthusiastically.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar urged the US government to extend support for early completion of Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project that is crucial to the economic revival of the country.

While giving an overview of the available business opportunities, the LCCI President said that US investment in livestock, agriculture mineral and mines sectors could be of great benefit to US investors. Farooq Iftikhar said that solar energy is another area where US investment is direly needed. American companies can take up these projects because shortage of gas, combined with high cost of thermal electricity, industry is being forced to think of replacing their captive power plants (CPPs) with solar energy plants therefore US investment can be extremely beneficial for both Pakistan and the United States.

Farooq Iftikhar said that since the process of elections in Pakistan had been completed, the world was going to witness stable Pakistan with solid strategies on agriculture, education, business, health and energy crisis. The LCCI President said that if US enhances the scope of GSP scheme to most of our textile products that would help in further improving Pakistan's exports to USA.

He said that Pakistan is very strong in textile sector and this sector contributes more than 60 percent to our total exports but most of our textiles products are not eligible for GSP duty-free access to US market.