KARACHI - The trade bodies representatives and industrialists have welcomed the bipartisan approval of Kerry-Lugar Pakistan American Enterprise Fund by the US Senates Foreign Relations Committee and termed this move as pragmatic initiative, which would support the local private sector to create more investment and employment opportunities in the flood-hit country. The US law-making body passed this bill on Wednesday, which allows the US administration to use those existing funds of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package, approved by the countrys Congress last year. Haji Abdul Majeed, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry while talking to The Nation, said the timing of the endorsement of the said bill is very important as after facing the worst-ever natural calamity, we need more aid and financial assistance from the international community to start rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the flood-affected areas of the country. Our economy has adversely affected by the floods, which has caused widespread damage and losses to the agriculture and livestock sectors along with civil and industrial infrastructures of the country. Our SME sector has much industrial and job potential and we can utilise it by using the US capital and technical assistance in order to make the sector more feasible and productive. Thus, we hope that the Fund would be established soon and the grants earmarked under this fund will start materialising by the start of next year, he added. Majyd Aziz, former President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said this financing would assist small and medium enterprises in Pakistan to procure direct financial and technical support to become viable, to provide meaningful employment, and to adopt latest techniques and processes to maintain sustainability. He further added that during his recent visit to the US Congress, he met with senior officials of the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and held detailed discussions with them on the imperative need to pass this legislation. He commended Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar for introducing and spearheading this initiative. He also appreciated the unanimous bipartisan support for this Fund. The officials of the Committees informed him that this kind of Fund has been successful in other countries and that it would be very beneficial for Pakistani enterprises. They said that Senators Kerry and Lugar are very enthusiastic about Pakistan and assured Majyd Aziz that the Fund would be handled in a transparent manner and would be administered by private sector representatives of both the countries. Majyd Aziz said that he also visited Ambassador Richard Holbrookes office in State Department and also met with a senior official of a Task Force in Defense Secretary Robert Gates office in the Pentagon and expressed to them the need for market access for Pakistani exports to USA. He said that Pakistani industries need to be reactivated so that more employment is generated, especially after the catastrophic floods.