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US, Pakistan host private sector engagement forum.

US, Pakistan Host Private Sector Engagement Forum

ISLAMABAD – The U.S. Mission to Pakistan and the provincial government of Punjab have opened a three-day forum with the private sector to identify opportunities and challenges for business and social investments in the region.
The forum was organized by the Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the USAID office in Lahore in collaboration with the private sector in southern Punjab.
The forum will focus on four key sectors: agriculture, tourism, textiles and energy. One of the main topics will be the identification of the challenges for private sector growth in southern Punjab, including market access constraints exacerbated by the mobility limitations of Covid-19.
Other topics include the lack of innovation in agricultural practices and crop value chains, the widening of the knowledge gap in agricultural enterprises and access to finance for smallholders.
“Recognizing the investment gaps, formulating common strategies and establishing a general framework to improve investments will greatly contribute to the development of southern Punjab,” said Catherine Rodriguez, US Consul General in Lahore.
“We understand the obstacles that hinder the economic growth of the region, but through joint efforts with the government of Punjab and key partners in the public and private sectors, we can overcome these obstacles,” said Julie Koenen, director of the USAID / Pakistan mission, which is expected to deliver the closing address at the end of the forum on January 28.
USAID’s PEEP program has also put in place sustainable initiatives to address a number of challenges, including the lack of university-industry linkages for technology-driven research and development, and access to funding and The U.S. Mission to Pakistan and the Punjab Provincial Government have opened a three-day forum with the private sector to identify opportunities and challenges for business and social investments in the region.

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