Masood Hails Role of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs in Accelerating Economic Growth: Masood

Masood Hails Role of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs in Accelerating Economic Growth: Masood

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan says Pakistani American tech entrepreneurs can act as a catalyst to accelerate growth and investment in Pakistan’s IT and start-up sectors.

Speaking at the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs’ Organization (OPEN) Annual Forum in Silicon Valley, he said the recent uptick in bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States has provided an opportunity for Pakistani-Americans to invest in Pakistan.

He noted that both countries have prioritized economic partnership as the new anchor of bilateral ties and are working together to create opportunities for cooperation in trade, technology, health, energy, agriculture and education.

The Ambassador briefed participants on investment opportunities in Pakistan, saying that Pakistan’s central geographic location, extensive neighborhood and impressive population make it an ideal investment destination. He pointed out that around 80 US companies and corporations have been doing business in Pakistan for decades. He said the Pakistani government has taken a number of steps to improve the investment climate in the country, including a liberal visa regime, tax tightening and easy repatriation of profits. As a result, he added, US tech investors and venture capitalists have been investing in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem in e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, retail and supply chain sectors.

He invited the Pakistani-American investors and tech entrepreneurs to take advantage of these positive developments and invest in Pakistan’s IT and technology sector.

Other speakers on the panel included Duraid Qureshi, CEO of Hum Network Limited, Kanwal Bukhari, USAID Pakistan Program Manager, and Naveed Sherwani, a leading Pakistani-American entrepreneur.

They announced the creation of a $50 million fund called Pakistan Catalytic Fund to invest in Pakistani start-ups.

Earlier, Ambassador Masood Khan delivered a keynote speech at a session on disaster management through technology. He said Pakistan was devastated by a climate-related disaster. More than a third of the country was under water and around 33 million people were affected. Damage was estimated at $40 billion. He thanked the US government for their timely and generous support of US$97 million and the Pakistani-Americans for their US$27 million contribution to the flood relief effort. However, more support is needed for the critical phases of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The Ambassador noted that Pakistan, despite being the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), is the eighth country most affected by the impacts of climate change. He said Pakistan is pursuing climate justice for the countries most vulnerable to climate change and has advocated the inclusion of the loss-and-damage agenda at COP 27 in Egypt this year.

Speaking on the role of technology in supporting disaster management, the ambassador said technology can be used to predict natural disasters, mobilize support for rehabilitation, and create awareness for preparedness, mitigation and adaptation.

It is important to mention that the OPEN Silicon Valley Annual Forum is an annual event organized by OPEN’s Silicon Valley Chapter. This year’s event focused on fintech, web 3, startup ecosystems in Pakistan and climate change. It was attended by almost 2000 participants including entrepreneurs, businessmen, professionals, academics and students.

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