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Statement by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Visit to Pakistan


As President Trump said this week, “Our relationship with Pakistan is a very good one.” The United States is Pakistan’s largest export destination. U.S. companies have a long history of doing business in Pakistan, contributing to its economic development and providing high-value jobs. The work Pakistan has begun to do to fight terrorism and promote security is affording the United States and Pakistan the opportunity to strengthen and expand trade in the region and between our countries. Building on the productive discussions between President Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during this Administration, I met with Prime Minister Khan and his economic team today in Islamabad to explore ways to grow the U.S.-Pakistan trade and investment relationship, including in the energy and digital sectors.

The Department of Commerce will continue to facilitate private sector engagement between the United States and Pakistan through organizing Pakistani business delegations to U.S. and regional trade shows, recruiting a Pakistani investment delegation to the 2020 SelectUSA Investment Summit, and supporting technical exchanges on trade facilitation, energy, intellectual property rights, and good regulatory practices.

Our conversations provided opportunities to reinforce the critical importance of improving Pakistan’s business environment, including through developing a consistent tax framework, promoting regulatory transparency, and strengthening the intellectual property ecosystem. This includes ensuring the free flow of data, which is crucial to businesses in all sectors of the economy and essential to helping Pakistan integrate into the global digital ecosystem.

Many thanks to Prime Minister Khan and Government of Pakistan Ministry representatives for their hospitality and willingness to engage in frank conversations. Deepening our economic ties will provide measurable benefits for our two nations.

During his visit, Secretary Ross met with Pakistani government officials, including:

Prime Minister Imran Khan

Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles, Industry & Production, and Investment

Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue

Omar Ayub Khan, Minister, Ministry of Energy (Power Division)

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar, Minister, Ministry of National Food Security & Research

Asad Umar, Minister, Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives

Sohail Mahmood, Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum