Rehman urges US entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan
* Ambassador to US says Pakistan offers significant advantages for trade and commerce
WASHINGTON: Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman has asked American business leaders to invest in microfinance and a host of promising areas to realise economic opportunity for people and help leverage her country’s potential as pivot for regional growth.
Sherry Rehman was addressing a gathering of Pakistani and international microfinance experts, investors, donors and academics at a conference on Pakistan – The Dark Horse of Microfinance.
“Pakistan offers to you the promise of land, geography and people, all combined.
Perhaps it is for this potential that the US-Pakistan Business Council’ describes Pakistan as a giant you haven’t considered for investment,” she said.
The ambassador informed the gathering the US has launched a multi-year Pakistan Private Investment Initiative (PPII) to attract both Pakistani and international investment management companies to facilitate access for small and medium businesses.
“Thanks to their resilience and innovative cooperation, the share of small and medium enterprises has gone up in our the GDP growth. The two countries are making progress towards concluding a Bilateral Investment Treaty.”
Underscoring Pakistan’s location at the heart of regions, Sherry said the country offers significant advantages for trade and commerce as Pakistan has common borders with two of the world’s largest markets and emerging economic power houses – China and India.
Zeroing in the subject of the conference, the ambassador appreciated the SEEP and Pakistan Microfinance Network for presenting the case for the microfinance industry in Pakistan.
During the last four years, the ambassador said, new players like mobile network operators, commercial banks, and international funds have started investing in institutions focused on the bottom of the pyramid markets and have catalysed growth.
“This is especially appreciable because there was no deceleration of growth despite the global financial crisis of 2008. Moreover, during these four years the Benazir Income Support Programme has brought almost 4 million people into the formal banking sector thereby extending the coverage of our financial institutions in general and microfinance sector in particular.”
She said financial inclusion has the power to promote inclusive growth and the benefits can positively affect the poorest of the population.
“We all know that the social value of microfinance relates to improving the lives of poor and excluded people; widening the range of opportunities for communities in an ongoing, sustainable way both by broadening and by deepening outreach of financial services.
Your services help in reducing vulnerability and fulfilling basic needs of the people at the bottom of the pyramid.” app