U.S. Official Sees Vast Investment Potential In Pakistan

Franklin Lavin, U.S. Under Secretary for International praised Pakistan's economic turnaround and said the country provides a potentially lucrative market for American investors. On May 5, he told a news conference in Islamabad he had held detailed talks with Pakistani officials on a proposed investment treaty between the two countries.

"Pakistan's economy is performing extremely well, where we see year on year growth among the highest in the world," he said. "We see GDP (gross domestic product) strength, we see employment strength and the micro indicators across the board are doing very well.

Pakistan last month increased its year to June 2006 growth forecast to 6.3% -6.8%, up from the 6% -6.6 % predicted in December 2005, but still lower than the 8.2% achieved in the previous fiscal year.

"The numbers are improving nicely both ways. Trade is up, investment is up, technology transfer is up... so there is a lot of good news," explained Lavin, who is here on his maiden trip as part of the ongoing Strategic Partnership Dialogue between the two countries.

U.S. imports from Pakistan had registered a significant increase in the past few years. The U.S. is Pakistan's largest partner for both trade and investment.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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