Pakistan American Business Association in collaboration with the University of Karachi and George Mason University, USA, on Thursday, arranged a preliminary session at LEJ Lecture Hall in connection with the PABA Trade Show and Conference which would be held in Falls Church USA on October 20, 2019.
PABA Founder/Chairman Muhammad Siddique Sheikh and George Mason University Professor Dr James C. Witte were the chief guests of the session which was attended by the members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other business communities.
PABA Chairman Siddique Sheikh briefed the audience about the upcoming event and termed that it would open the doors of opportunities for the local business community. He mentioned that it would be a great chance for cross-industry groups as well as small and medium-size businesses to build contacts and develop prospects for profitable trade deals.
He said the show would bring buyers, importers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs together from both Pakistan and the United States. The event would give the chance to create and grow networks of people in related industries and to establish contacts with potential distributors and dealers.
Sheikh was born and raised in Gujranwala, and moved to the United States about 50 years ago and has since represented the country as a successful entrepreneur. He currently heads a conglomerate of wide-ranging businesses as well as been on board of several academic and business institutions and founded PABA in the 1980s.
“One of the biggest reasons, I am here is that I want to help the people of my motherland. Nobody can forget its mother and motherland and that’s why I am trying to establish a bridge between Pakistani and US market.”
He expressed that Pakistani businessmen are very well informed and are very well connected in the world. Due to living in the US for almost 50 years, he was also very much connected with the public, industries and chambers, politicians and government officials and other concerned communities.
Sheikh added that PABA was connected with each of them for the last 35 years and could connect Pakistani industries to US-based market easily. He asked to build the trust and claimed that it would be the first step towards success and prosperity. “I am not a speaker but I can tell you that it will help you and the motherland. I am here to assist you in this regard and believe that you would like to see the country’s product being sold throughout the world with the made in Pakistan tag.”
PABA Chairman shared that the Association has a partnership with Lahore, Sialkot and Gujranwala chambers and will meet Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry to establish the same relationship.
Meanwhile, Professor Dr James C. Witte, through a presentation highlighted the areas which would benefit both countries. He said that like PABA, George Mason University was also actively working to open new doors for youth by providing opportunities for education and training, in a bid to build a prosperous future and become useful citizens and leaders because today’s youth was our future.
He further said that top five USA to Pakistan trade categories were cotton, soybeans, scrap iron, steel, petroleum gases, nonelectric rail locomotives, whereas US and Pakistan two-way trade was over US$6 billion. James said the top five Pakistan to USA trades were linen, women’s suits not knit, textile articles, sweaters and men’s suits. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million, with over 100 million people use mobile phones and over 50 million were internet users.
He noted that Pakistan has 45 million acres of farms and the seventh-largest producer of sugar. The country has also over 150 airports and the world’s largest deep seaport, which makes it significant for the US and other countries interested in expanding its business ties with Pakistan.
Earlier, the KU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, during his welcome address, shed light on the importance of the PABA Trade Show and Conference 2019. He said local industries and business communities can draw benefit from such events as after the meeting of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan with American President Donald Trump the trade is likely to increase between the two countries.
Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari Vice-Chancellor Akhtar Baloch in his vote of thanks, said that such programmes can assist in boosting bilateral relationships. He hoped that a large number of Pakistani business representatives would participate in the event.