ISLAMABAD   -   Minister for Privatisation, Mohammed Mian Soomro has urged upon the reputed US companies to explore the new investment-friendly business environment in Pakistan for lucrative investments in the country.

The minister, who is currently visiting United States, held meetings with some of the most reputable US companies interested to invest in Pakistan, according to press statement received here Thursday.

During his meeting with the Board members of Tishman Speyer, a company that manages properties worth $70 Billion around the world, the Minister said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led government had been facilitating foreign investments through a one-window transparent operation. The minister also met AAK Group Chief Executive Officer Kaiwen Lin in US and urged him to visit Pakistan with assurance of his full cooperation in exploring investment opportunities in housing sector.

The company had recently invested $2.5 Billion in low-cost housing sector in Ghana, the statement said adding a delegation from the company had also recently visited Pakistan to explore investment opportunities.

“This is a new era in our economic history where facilitation of businessmen is a priority,” the minister asserted and elaborated that Pakistan offered opportunities based on economic reforms being introduced by the PTI lead government to put the economy on the right track swiftly. The minister said that a one-window operation facility was being set up at the Prime Minister Secretariat for foreign businessmen to ensure smooth process for trade and investment facilitation.

He mentioned that the government had also special focus on agriculture sector, which also offers investment opportunities.

According to the statement, the minister during his visit,  is scheduled to meet some of the most reputable US companies  interested to invest in Pakistan and had meeting with Extell Development Company President Gary Barnett, the builders of the tallest residential building of the world.  The companies that met the minister so far have expressed their keen interest to invest in Pakistan and agreed to participate in the process of privatisation, it added.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood Thursday said the United States was a huge potential market for Pakistan’s exports which could help increase the trade volume.

The US market was still considered as the largest market for Pakistani exports but both the sides had more potential to increase the bilateral trade and strengthen the economic ties, he said while talking to APP, before leaving for the United States where he would join Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

He said that during his visit he would discuss different bilateral matters including investment from the US, market access, and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiation with the American leadership. He said Pakistan would also request the US to convene a meeting of TIFA Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) which is expected to be held soon.

Dawood said the US wanted to increase its trade and investment to Pakistan from 10 to 15 times.

He said, “Pakistan wanted to increase export of cotton, meat, soybean, textile and leather for exploiting major areas of our trade. United States had keen interest in investment in gas, power generation and other power projects, however, Pakistan has requested US investment in food processing. The adviser emphasised the export in sectors like engineering goods, sugar, rice, agro-processed products, surgical, pharmaceutical and sports goods.

Replying to a question, he said trade diversification through trade in engineering goods would increase the local exports. He said the government had started “Look Africa” policy, which would facilitate the exporters to promote their engineering businesses in different untapped markets of African countries as well as in European Union by making their products competitive.