ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Monday stressed upon availing of existing trade and investment opportunities between Pakistan and the United States for the mutual goal of their enhanced partnership.
The Prime Minister, in a ceremony prior to the launch of Pakistan-United States Economic Partnership Week here, he said the US had been a valuable partner in Pakistan’s endeavours for national development and for regional peace, stability and prosperity.
“A broad-based, stable and enduring Pak-US partnership – founded on the principles of mutual respect and mutual interest – is of paramount importance,” he added.
He urged the participants from both countries to avail this opportunity towards creating important business linkages and working towards the mutual goal of enhanced trade and investment partnership.
Nawaz Sharif said the Economic Partnership Week reaffirmed the commitment that President Obama and he had made during his visit to Washington in October 2013.
“It is the commitment of two democracies to deepen our economic engagement by expanding trade and investment,” he added.
He said the common commitment to an expanding role for private sector-led growth and job-creation provided a wealth of opportunities for growing trade and investment between the two countries.
He was delighted to note that these opportunities were being seized with the support and encouragement of both governments, he added.
Appreciating the presence of US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, he said it had boosted confidence of businesses and investors from the United States and Pakistan to contribute to the shared prosperity.
Referring to the Pak-US ties, the Prime Minister said relations with the United States constituted an important element of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The relationship spanning more than six decades was robust and wide ranging, he said, adding “Over the past 68 years, our two nations have travelled a long distance together – as friends and allies in defence of freedom and in pursuit of international peace and security.
Besides shared history, we are bound by a shared commitment to democracy.”
About his government’s priorities, the Prime Minister said the economic revival had been an important pillar in policy strategy of his government that was elected in May 2013.
He said over the past two years, Pakistan’s economy had turned the corner and made significant progress.
According to economic forecasts by international financial institutions, it could look forward to steady growth in the coming years.
Moody’s had raised the economic outlook of Pakistan from negative to positive, he added.
He said democracy registered significant achievements in Pakistan, not least the first peaceful, constitutional transfer of power between two elected governments in May 2013.
“The institutions and traditions of our democracy are evolving positively.
Elected legislatures in the Centre and the provinces are asserting their primacy.
The judiciary is independent.
The media is free.
There is lively dissent and wide-ranging debate on public issues,” he added.
He further told the participants from the US that democracy in Pakistan was strengthened by the energy of market that created growth and employment, and the freedom of the marketplace could not be preserved except through constitutional and democratic politics.