Updated by Michael Alexander Krzyston
February 18, 2019
CENTRAL ASIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE WILL MEET US CHAMBERS IN CHICAGO DURING SILK ROAD CONFERNCE IN APRIL
Changing aspects for international business and trade resulting from China’s “Silk Road Initiative” effecting some 60 countries; and meetings between chambers of commerce representing the Silk Road countries and representatives from regional chambers of commerce will take place April 2 and 3, 2019 and participate in sessions of the 2019 Silk Road Conference scheduled in Chicago on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Private meetings between representatives from business, government, and academia are scheduled on Monday and Tuesday, April 1 and 2, will conclude with the annual Silk Road Conference scheduled from 8 AM until 5 PM, , at IIT’s Kent College of Law Auditorium, 565 W. Adams St., Chicago. Organized by the Central Asian Productivity Research Center, founded in Azerbaijan and Turkey in 1999, the event is co-sponsored by the Global Programs, College of Business, Northern Illinois University. Qualified attendees can attend free of charge, but advanced registration is required. Almost thirty speakers and panelists will focus on the rapidly changing region that is described by a former undersecretary of defense as a very important strategic region for the US. Professor Lepinske, CAPRC chairman, said, “Most Americans are not aware of the region, let alone its expanding importance. The region is changing rapidly. A cobweb of lines on a map across Central Asia in 1999 today is a cobweb of energy pipelines; Chinese are shipping freight from Southern China to Western Europe by rail in ten days; Europeans are driving to Beijing;, and some 20,000 Americans are working in Azerbaijan. For more information go to: www.CAPRC.org
To Register Contact: CAPRC.ORG@gmail.com
January 19, 2019
Foreign Minister of Kyrgyz Republic Chingiz Azamatovich Aidarbekov (right) on 8th January, 2019 received Ambassador Faisal Niaz Tirmizi (left, former Pakistan’s consulate general in Chicago). This was Ambassador’s first official call on the newly appointed Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic. Ambassador conveyed warm greetings and congratulation of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Foreign Minister Aidarbekov on his appointment.
Ambassador assured him that Pakistan would be attending the forthcoming SCO Summit in Bishkek in June 2019 at the highest level. Ambassador also appraised the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister on his calls on the President of Pakistan and other senior officials during his visit to Pakistan. The President Arif Alvi of Pakistan had underscored the need to increase people-to-people and business-to-business contacts between the two countries through promotion of tourism and trade. Over 2000 Pakistani students are already contributing around US$ 13 to 15 a year to the Kyrgyz economy and this figure was likely to go up in years to come. Both sides also reiterated the need for more parliamentary and business exchanges between the two countries to further consolidate already excellent existing ties between the two countries. Both sides also discussed the possibility of resuming flights between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.
May 2018 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
On behalf of the Central Asian Productivity Research Center, we extend our warmest greetings to all Azerbaijanis both here in the USA and in Azerbaijan on this great occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan on May 28, 1918.
May 2018 CAPRC FINALIZING CENTRAL ASIAN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT REPORT
Joseph Haddad, CAPRC’s tourism committee chairman, reported during the CAPRC first quarter meeting held in January at the conference facilities of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Chicago, that the committee has completed a six-month research program focusing on the growth in Central Asia. He said the committee had worked with representatives of government and the tourism and airline industries.“It will take more time to refine the data. Hopefully, the CAPRC can release the report sometime in May about the time of the CAPRC’s second quarter meeting” , commented Haddad. “We all were very surprised about the number of questions from attendees during the 2018 Silk Road Conference held on Friday, April 20 , at the Kent College of Law Auditorium.”, he added.
December 2017 Introduction to Asian Water Problems by Brahma Chellaney
The management of the Ili and Irtysh rivers are, by themselves, complex, disturbing and very challenging. A large number of other problems exist which are conceptually diverse and problematic. Water, energy, and political issues have a complex interaction. We plan to provide a more detailed presentation(s) in the future and extend knowledge of their characteristics to non-specialists. Both the Irtysh and Ili rivers originate in China and flow through northeastern Kazakhstan. The Irtysh continues into Russia. It has been estimated that China intends to increase use of Irtysh water from 15% to 40% in Xinjiang province(NW China) to support increased industrial development. There will also be withdrawals from the Ili. The withdrawals as well as agricultural chemicals threaten Lake Balkhash and other areas. Balkhash Copper Production Company additionally deposits copper, lead, and arsenic into Lake Balkhash The Irtysh remains the chief source of drinking water for Astana and three other industrial cities in Kazakhstan alone(4 million people). It is a set of problems that must be jointly solved by Kazakhstan, China, and Russia
Dec 18, 2016 The Japan Times
Asia’s Fight Over Fresh Water by Brahma Chellaney
NEW DELHI – Asia, the world’s largest and fastest-developing continent, has less fresh water per capita than any other continent. This has helped foster growing interstate and intrastate disputes over shared water resources. An MIT study published this year found a high risk that Asia’s current water crisis could worsen to severe water shortages by 2050.
In this light, water is emerging as a key challenge for long-term Asian peace and stability. Yet Asia’s maritime-security challenges draw much greater international attention than its river-water disputes. This is largely because sea-related issues, such as in the South China Sea, affect even outside powers by threatening the safety of sea lanes and freedom of navigation. The truth is this: Asia’s sharpening competition over transnationally shared freshwater resources holds strategic ramifications just as ominous as those relating to maritime territorial disputes.
Recent developments are highlighting how the competition and fight over shared water resources is a major contributory factor to the growing geopolitical discord and tensions in Asia.
In fact, China’s “territorial grab” in the South China Sea has been accompanied by a quieter “freshwater grab” in transnational river basins. Re-engineering transboundary water flows is integral to China’s strategy to employ power, control and influence to fashion a strongly Sino-centric Asia.
Its relationship with India, for example, is roiled by increasing discord over shared water resources. Recently, to complete a major dam project, China said it has cut off the flow of a tributary of the Brahmaputra River, the lifeline of Bangladesh and northeastern India. The tributary drains into the Brahmaputra within Tibet itself. The blocking of the Xiabuqu River’s flow comes amid ongoing Chinese work to dam another Brahmaputra tributary, the Lhasa River, into a series of artificial lakes.
Meanwhile, not content with the six mega-dams it has built on the Mekong, just before that mighty river crosses into Southeast Asia, China is planning or constructing 14 more dams, despite already visible downstream impacts. The upstream dams give China control over the transboundary flow of water and nutrient-rich silt essential to the economies of mainland Southeast Asia, where the Mekong is the lifeblood of 60 million people.
The failure of the lower Mekong states to fashion a united stance against the frenzied Chinese dam-building has given Beijing the upper hand. Indeed, the lower Mekong nations are embroiled in their own dam-building disputes. Brushing aside regional concerns, landlocked Laos recently decided to move ahead with a third controversial project, the 912-megawatt Pak Beng Dam, after beginning work on the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams.
The Mekong and the Brahmaputra rank among the world’s rivers deemed to be at risk. China’s dam builders, however, are targeting other rivers as well. With the focus of China’s dam-building and other water diversions moving from internal rivers to international rivers, Chinese mega-projects now are increasingly concentrated in the resource-rich minority homelands, especially the Tibetan Plateau — the starting point of 10 major Asian rivers. This has spurred growing concern in downstream countries over how China is using its control over Asia’s largest river systems to re-engineer cross-border flows. With as many as 18 downstream neighbors, China enjoys riparian dominance of a kind unmatched in the world.
Tensions are already running high on China’s frontiers with largely arid Central Asia due to the increasingly heavy Chinese water appropriations from the Illy and Irtysh rivers. The withdrawals from the Illy threaten to turn Kazakhstan’s Lake Balkhash into another Aral Sea, which has shrunk to barely a quarter of its original size. China is also diverting water from the Irtysh — which feeds Russia’s Ob River — for its projects in Xinjiang, including a canal supplying the booming oil town of Karamai. The Irtysh is a source of drinking water for Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital.
Diminished transboundary flows are not the only concern for Central Asians: China’s economic activities in sprawling Xinjiang are also contaminating the water of the transnational rivers in the region with hazardous chemicals and fertilizers. By replicating in international rivers the degradation haunting the rivers in its Han heartland, China is deepening unease in downstream countries.
Meanwhile, China’s close ally, Pakistan, has initiated — for the second time in this decade —international arbitral tribunal proceedings against India under the terms of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. Seeking international intercession is part of Pakistan’s “water war” strategy against upstream India.
When Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947 as the first Islamic republic of the postcolonial era, the partition left the Indus headwater on the Indian side of the border, but the river basin’s larger segment in the newly created country. This division armed India with formidable water leverage over Pakistan.
Yet, after protracted negotiations, India agreed to what still ranks as the world’s most generous water-sharing pact: The Indus treaty reserved for Pakistan the largest three rivers that make up more than four-fifths of the total Indus-system water. It kept for India just 19.48 percent of the total water. Still, Pakistan has used the treaty to sustain its conflict and tensions with India, including over Kashmir.
Some Asian countries, seeking to overcome the challenge of growing more food in water-stressed conditions at home, have leased large tracts of farmland in sub-Saharan Africa. The land grabs, which are effectively water grabs, have triggered a backlash in some areas. For example, South Korea’s Daewoo Logistics Corp. entered into a deal to lease as much as half of Madagascar’s arable land to grow food for South Korea, igniting a local backlash and military intervention that eased out a democratically elected president in 2009.
More broadly, the competition between Asian neighbors to appropriate resources of shared rivers by building dams, reservoirs and other structures is fostering distrust and discord and exacerbating impacts on ecosystems. Water has become an instrument of power in interstate relations. This holds important implications for Asia’s future.
Asia’s economic rise has been aided by peace and stability. But the upsurge of resource and territorial disputes has underscored the looming dangers. Various developments are highlighting the linkage between water and peace.
In the coming years, water scarcity is likely to become Asia’s defining crisis, creating obstacles in its path of continued rapid economic growth and stoking new inter-country tensions. Water, of course, is not the only resource whose availability has come under pressure owing to Asia’s rapid economic rise. But it is the most critical one, for which there is no substitute.
To underpin peace and cooperation, Asian states must manage transnational water resources on the basis of transparency, collaboration, sharing and dispute settlement.
Brahma Chellaney is the author of “Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis” and “Water: Asia’s New Battleground.”
CAPRC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS AUTHOR NEW BOOK:
ENERGY AND FINANCE: SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
Dr. Ozgur Arslan-Ayaydin, CAPRC advisory board Member; Dr. Mehmet Baha Karan , CAPRC associate board member and regional Coordinator; and Dr. Andre’ Dorsman, a CAPRC Supporter; jointly announced the publication of their new book, “Energy and Finance: Sustainability in the Energy Industry”.
The book analyses how socially responsible investments as well as the rising importance of Islamic finance are linked to the shift towards renewable energy. Academics and practitioners in the field take a global perspective and present case studies from several countries. The book is divided into three parts: The first part sheds new light on the energy shift towards renewable energy. The second shows the increasing interest of investors in sustainability, and the authors argue that investors not only look at expected returns and risks, but also at social returns. Finally, the third part explains the need for social returns in Islamic finance, which cannot be explained by traditional finance theory. This is the fifth volume in a series on energy organized by the Centre for Energy and Value Issues (CEVI).
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Baha Karan has been with Hacettepe University’s Business Administration Department, in Ankara, Turkey, since 1995. He is the former vice dean, faculty of economics and administration science and chairperson. In l997, he founded the Hacettepe University Financial Research Center (HUFAM). Dr. Karan also has organized some of Turkey’s leading Professional conferences and has served as the chair for the Finance Society; president of the Multinational Finance Society; vice president, Center for Energy and Value; co-director, Turkish Regional Chapter, Professional Risk Managers’ International Association; and serves on the independent board for two publicly-traded companies.
Prof. Dr. Arslan-Ayaydin PhD is a clinical associate Professor in the finance department of University of Illinois at Chicago. She also is vice president for the Center for Energy and Value Issues (CEVI) based in The Netherlands, and expert evaluator for the European Commission. Her research Interests are corporate finance, Investments and Islamic Banking and Finance. She is the recipient of UIC’s Silver Circle Award for her outstanding teaching and a Jean Monnet Scholar of the European Commission.
September 23, 2016
US Ambassador Spratlen on USAID Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) Project Inauguration Ceremony
Posted by: CAPRC Agriculture Committee John Hackney, CAPRC Chairman
Source: American-Uzbekistan Chamber Of Commerce; Washington, D.C.
Ассалом aлейкум, доброе утро, and Good morning to everyone! Especially to Dr. Kasimov, I want to thank you for your warm welcome and for everything you have done to bring us to this point today.
On February 13 of 2015 – it is hard to believe – we gathered together with our Uzbek partners here to inaugurate a state-of-the-art micro-propagation technology facility, known as the Tissue Culture Laboratory, at the Mirzaev Horticulture Institute. The overall objective of the Laboratory is to improve the quality of plants to increase horticultural production in Uzbekistan.
Today, we again celebrate here at Mirzaev the launch of a new agricultural project, as you have heard, called the Agricultural Value Chains. Today’s broad participation of farmers, business, and government exemplifies the strong partnerships we have forged across Uzbekistan in the twelve provinces and 33 districts where the project will operate.
Since 2008, USAID has partnered with Uzbekistan on horticultural sector projects through various projects. We are proud of our close coordination with the Government of Uzbekistan and our mutual efforts to strengthen horticultural practices, create better livelihoods, and meet international demands for the highest quality produce.
And I would like to associate myself with a very important point that Dr. Kasimov made in his remarks, and that is that this project is a logical continuation of our past work. And as a result of our past work, we have already witnessed letters of intent worth more than $300 million between Uzbek growers and international buyers of horticultural produce through business to business trade missions in Samarkand, and Fergana.
Furthermore, the United States welcomes Uzbekistan’s efforts to transform over 170,000 hectares of cotton over the next five years to produce higher value fruits and vegetables. Our Agriculture Value Chains project is well-positioned to support such ambitious agricultural transitions.
This five-year, $14 million program will improve the value chain along the horticultural sector by creating jobs, improving incomes, and increasing fruit yield and quality.
I would like to join Dr. Kasimov in thanking every entity inside of Uzbekistan that played a role in bringing us to this point today and I would especially like to thank DAI and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources for implementing the Agriculture Value Chains project in Uzbekistan. It is because of your enthusiasm, energy, and professionalism that the United States Government, through USAID, can continue to invest in Uzbekistan’s horticulture sector.
I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Uzbek horticulture than a grape variety contest that showcases the diversity, quality, and richness of produce that is a true national treasure – that is what you see before you. I wish the best of luck to all the competitors and may the best grapes win!
Удачи всем. Катта раҳмат. Спасибо.
September 23, 1016
Modernizing the Water Future of Central Asia
Posted by: CAPRC Ad Hoc Water Committee Chairman: Paul Herche
Source: American-Uzbekistan Chamber Of Commerce; Washington, D.C.
The Central Asia Water Future Forum and Expo is being held on September 19-22 in Almaty. Organized by the World Bank, the event brings together over 200 policy makers and practitioners from governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, the international community of water practitioners, as well as regional learning institutions, universities, civil society and media representatives.
Like many regions across the world, Central Asia is seeking to make the best use of limited water resources, and is exploring ways of modernizing the tools and institutions in this area. This event improves access to global good practices in modernizing water resources monitoring and management in a changing development and climate context.
The Forum spans four days and features regional and international knowledge exchange around evolving modern approaches and state of the art tools for integrated water resources management. The Bank is actively working with all participants to facilitate access to knowledge and experiences accumulated at the national and global levels, identifying gaps in knowledge and modernization needs, and strengthening coordination for addressing common water related challenges in a concerted manner.
This Forum is convened as part of the preparation for the Central Asia Water Resources Management program, aimed at modernizing water information management systems and strengthening related institutional capacity.
“This event provides a valuable opportunity for countries to collaborate on a critical development issue for the region”, said Lilia Burunciuc, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia. “Jointly we hope to focus on innovative solutions to water-related development challenges, learning from global good practices and regional experiences in improved water management and climate resilience.”
While the Forum is a platform for knowledge sharing and learning, the Expo will feature displays to showcase global and regional good practice, state-of-the art hydromet instrumentation, visualization, forecasting, and other analytical tools, as well as institutional development approaches for modernizing water management systems. This type of collaboration will help countries advance the dialogue on future needs for information, institutions, and related investments for modernizing their systems at national and regional levels.
The event is being held in cooperation with the International Applied Research Conference “Water Resources of Central Asia and their Use” on September 22-24, 2016 in Almaty convened by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
June 14, 2016
China Seeks Expansion of Trade Routes with Central Asian Countries
By Frank Bennett Rowder Chicago Journalists.net Source Link
Chicago — Delegates from Central Asian countries continued to explore new financial and trade markets during the 16th annual Silk Road Conference held at the Kent College of Law recently.
Although many countries were once Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its collapse 25 years ago, they have managed to successfully make the transition from a Marxist to Free Market economy. Best testimonial is the establishment of economic corridors already leading to new highway, railways and oil and gas pipelines.
Make no mistake, China had played a key role in the making of the Silk Road, going as far back as the Han dynasty (207-220BCE.) when it derived its name from lucrative trade in Chinese silk. It still remains an ancient network of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Chinese government wants to expand the corridors, which will involve transport routes to key cities and ports covering Asia, Europe and Africa, including establishment of an ‘Eurasia Land bridge.’ Look for more movement between China-Mongolia-Russia and other countries in the mix.
Here are some of the highlights of the Silk Road Conference:
Azerbaijan: First Secretary Vugar Gurbanov stated his country continues to be an emerging hub in Central Eurasia by leading in the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, a $160 billion investment since 1991. Six countries will eventually be part of the Corridor that will eventually end in Southeast Italy.
Kazakhstan: Counselor Nurgali Arystanov indicated his country had signed a Dynamic Strategic Partnership calling for a $2.8 billion investment by the U.S. American companies currently operating in that country include Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC, Burger King , Netflix and Uber. Citibank and Chevron are expected to follow.
Pakistan: Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Consulate General of Pakistan in Chicago, expressed optimism about going business with IMF, World Bank, Bloomberg and international credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and S & P. He said the ‘economic corridor’ is leading toward new highways and railrways, oil and gas pipelines.
Uzbekistan: Continues to move toward a socially democratic state with a free market economy. The Uzbek model has called for a diverse economy ,and has business deals with 45 countries, including United States, China, Japan and the European Union.
Turkey: The country has experienced moderate economic growth due to rise of terrorism in that country, Syrian conflict and Russia’s economic downturn. Nevertheless, Mehmet Baha Karan stressed that Turkey wants zero problems with its neighbors and looking toward Iran’s entry into the global market. Karan is Professor of Finance at Turkey’s Hacettepe University.
Rowder is an associate board member of the Central Asian Productivity Center, sponsors of the 2016 Silk Road Conference. He is also serves on the Chicago Journalists Association Board of Directors.
Chicago May 13, 2016
Subject: CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC) TO UNWRAP A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES
Pakistan and China have unwrapped a world of opportunities by building road, railways and energy connections between Gwadar and Kashgar, said Consul General of Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi today. This project is a symbol of hope and investment in Pakistan. He was the keynote speaker at an event “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – A world of Opportunities” which was organized at the Consulate General of Pakistan in collaboration with Central Asian Productivity Research Center CAPRC, Chicago.
The event was attended by 45 guests comprising CEOs of Chicago based businesses, business analysts, members of CAPRC and representatives of Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Harry Lepinske, Chairman CPARC, Ms. Laura Ortega, Executive Director, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Timothy J Sanders Director of Engagement and Government Liaison, Purdue University, Mr. Gary A. Camarno, Economic Development Director of Whiteside County, were among the prominent participants and they held in-depth discussion about various aspects of business potential in Central and South Asian countries with particular reference to Pakistan’s geographical importance in connecting these fast developing regions. Ms. Laura Ortega, Executive Director, Illinois Chamber of Commerce gave a special briefing on opportunities for Pakistani businesses in Illinois. She was urged to look into the possibility of taking investments from Illinois to Pakistan.
Consul General in his keynote speech said that Pakistan, a thriving middle class of 50 million with per capita income of nearly US$ 5000/- in terms of purchasing power and having workforce of under 30 years age bracket, is the ideal investment destination in Asia. Consul General also briefed the participants about the recent economic revival of Pakistan and investment friendly policies being offered by the Government. He referred the audience to the leading international publications, fund managers and rating agencies who have acknowledged Pakistan’s outstanding economic turnaround. Consul General concluded the discussion with a brief presentation on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. It is an opening of the world of opportunities not only for Pakistan and China but for the countries in Central, Western and South Asia, said Mr. Tirmizi. He further said that this project worth $ 51.252 is a fusion of investment corridor, trade corridor, energy corridor, transport corridor, infrastructure corridor and industrial corridor. The Consul General said that Chinese investment should be matched by similar investments from the USA, North America, Western Europe and Gulf countries. Only through economic development and employment opportunities, extremism raging in the region could be defeated, said Mr. Tirmizi.
Consul General encouraged all the guests to participate in the Investment Conference which is being jointly organized by Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce, Embassy of Pakistan Washington, US Department State and US Department of Commerce and Trade on June 03, 2016 in New York.
The event concluded with a motivational talk by Mr. Noman Ahmed, who was especially invited by the Consul General to speak at the event to give a cue to the participants about the immense talent in Pakistan. Mr. Noman Ahmed is a visually impaired Pakistani-American who has emerged as an impressive management trainer for many business entities.
US-China-Pak CPEC to create new opportunities for investment and trade
CHICAGO, May 14 (APP): Pakistan and China are on track towards opening up a world of trade and investment opportunities by building road, railway and energy connections between the Pakistani port city of Gwadar and the Chinese city of Kashgar, Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi has said.
In a speech on “China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – A world of Opportunities” at an event, he said that this project wpould bring progress and prosperity to the region.
The event — organized at the Consulate General of Pakistan in collaboration with Central Asian Productivity Research Center CAPRC, Chicago — was attended by a number of of CEOs of Chicago-based businesses, business analysts, members of CAPRC and representatives of Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
Harry Lepinske, the CPARC Chairman; Ms. Laura Ortega, Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce; Timothy Sanders Director of Engagement and Government Liaison, Purdue University; Gary Camarno, Economic Development Director of Whiteside County, were among those participants in the discussion about various aspects of business potential in Central and South Asian countries, with particular reference to Pakistan’s geographical importance in connecting these fast developing regions.
Ms. Ortega, Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, gave a special briefing on the opportunities for Pakistani businesses in the U.S. State of Illinois. She was urged to look into the possibility of taking investments from Illinois to Pakistan.
In his keynote address, Tirmizi, the Pakistani Consul General in Chicago, called Pakistan an ideal investment destination in Asia, with a middle class of 50 million and per capita income of nearly US$ 5000/- in terms of purchasing power. In addition, the country had a workforce of under 30 years age bracket.
The Consul General also briefed the participants about the economic revival of Pakistan under the present government and its investment-friendly policies that have been acknowledged by leading international publications, fund managers and rating agencies. He concluded the discussion with a presentation on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which he called a symbol of hope for the country.
September 25, 2015 Consulate General of Pakistan Chicago
Pakistan offers an ideal destination for investments with one of the best rates of investments in the world, a thriving middle class of 70 million people and a per capita income of nearly US$ 5000 per head if calculated in term of purchasing power parity. These views were expressed by Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, this morning at the 3rd Quarterly Advisory Board Meeting of the Central Asian Productivity Research Center (CAPRC) in Chicago where he was the keynote speaker. The Consul General also informed the audience that Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif would be starting his official visit to US from Chicago in OCtober and would be showcasing immense business opportunities in Pakistan at the two mega events in the third largest city of the US. Prime Minister Sharif would be chairing a Business Conference in the morning of October 20 besides being the keynote speaker at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs the same evening.
The Consul General also informed about another prominent Pakistani Ms. Samina Baig’s forthcoming visit to Chicago where she is scheduled to speak on the immense tourism potential in Pakistan during an event at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on October 09, 2015. Ms. Samina Mirza comes from Shimshal, Hunza and has made many achievements under her belt in the field of mountaineering including summiting of Mount Everest and Mount McKinley. Coming from a conservative country, she can highlight immense contributions being made by Pakistani women in all fields including politics, defense, banking and sports.
During the speech Mr. Tirmizi stated that Pakistan has been rated amongst the Next 11 by the Goldman Sachs as a group emerging economies which would be driver of global economy in years to come. Karachi Stock Exchange has been the second best performing stock exchange in the world for the last six year, a fact acknowledged by The Wall Street Journal. A weeks ago New York Times touted Pakistan as the next global IT center in view of its competitive prices and expertise. Mr. Tirmizi also spoke about the 8-million Pakistani expatriate community working abroad which has been remitting nearly US$ 19 billion annually to provide strong underpinnings to Pakistan’s economy which had been adversely effected by unstable political situation in the region as well as presence of world’s largest refugee population for the last 36 years.
The Consul General stated that multinationals like Nestle, Coke, PepsiCo, Unilever, MacDonald’s are making record profits in Pakistan for many decades with full freedom to repatriate profits. He cited the example of Lays by PepsiCo which opened eight plants in Pakistan after being reluctant initially. He also appreciated the role of the 1 million strong Pakistani-American community which is making US$ 37 billion every year in the US and encouraged them to invest in
their land of origin as has been done by the dynamic Chinese community across the world.
On a question as to why there has been so little investment in education for over the years, Mr. Tirmizi said that with troubling security and defense situation in the region the government has been constrained to put most of its resources in security and defense instead of health and education. With the improvement in security situation, the Government of Pakistan is likely to reduce its expenditure on security and defense with more focus on social sectors like education, health and employment.
VisionFriendly.com at the meeting also expressed its desire to tap the budding IT sector in Pakistan.
Postings by Michael Alexander Krzyston
Updated by Michael Alexander Krzyston
Listed by Michael Alexander Krzyston
Postings by Michael Alexander Krzyston
Updated by Michael Alexander Krzyston
Listed by Michael Alexander Krzyston