SIALKOT - American Ambassador in Pakistan David Hale said that the US was determined to continue working with the Pakistani government and the private sector to foster economic ties and increase bilateral trade.

The members of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SCCI) Executive Board called on him at the US Embassy in Islamabad and discussed a wide range of initiatives and potential avenues for deeper economic and trade cooperation.

Ambassador Hale also spoke with the delegation about different programmes and initiatives that America has undertaken to improve trade and investment ties.

The US envoy lauded the SCCI’s innovative approach in creating opportunities for the region’s businesses to grow. “Sialkot’s achievements are impressive, innovative, and could serve as an example for other areas of Pakistan. America looks forward to working closely with Sialkot’s business community to develop models of economic success for application throughout Pakistan,” the Ambassador observed.

SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta who led the delegation said, “The US has always been the most important strategic partner of Pakistan and we believe that the relationship between the two countries would further strengthen in future, considering the determination of both the countries to collaborate in the areas of trade development, education, women empowerment and intellectual property rights.”  SCCI President Bhutta thanked the Ambassador and his team for their hospitality and interest in cooperating with the Sialkot Chamber on issues of mutual interest.

Following the meeting, the delegation held a discussion with Embassy officials from economic, USAID, public affairs, and political sections to discuss potential areas for further collaboration. The meeting focused on collaborative initiatives related to trade promotion, education, improving labour standards, women’s role in the economy, entrepreneurship and agriculture.

The visit to the Embassy follows a mid-January visit to Sialkot by a US delegation from Embassy Islamabad and Consulate General Lahore. During the visit, US officials had called on Sialkot’s District Coordination Officer, the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan. They had also toured the manufacturing facilities of the Silver Star Group.