KCCI, GHP, & HKSCA Sign the Historic MoU to Bring Closer the Trading Relations Between Houston & Karachi
â€œLetâ€™s Have Peace Through Tradeâ€: GHP President & CEO Jeff Moseley and KCCI President Mian Abrar Ahmad
Houston, Texas (Our Special Correspondent): â€œWe are very positive that the visit of KCCI and the MoU that we are signing today, will create fruitful cooperative opportunities in enhancing trade & commerce; and gain the trust of American Investors, which is the important ingredients for the world vital economies of Houston and Karachi.â€
These were the sentiments of President of the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association (HKSCA) Muhammad Saaed Sheikh, as he joined President & CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) Jeff Moseley, and President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Mian Abrar Ahmad; in signing the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), according to which activities of mutual interest will be done to benefit the members & affiliates of KCCI, GHP, & HKSCA in the fields of import-export, investment climate, business information, and other commercially oriented activities.
Usually GHP, the largest collaborative of major Houston based businesses and corporations, does two parties MoUs, but keeping in perspective the efforts of HKSCA in bringing KCCI and GHP together, this agreement was executed in triplicate by the three entities, namely KCCI, GHP, and HKSCA. Witnessing the signing were Syed Fawad Shah, Commercial AttachÃ© Consulate of Pakistan; Jensen Shen, Director of GHP for Asia, Australia,, and Oceania; members of KCCI delegation; and several dignitaries of the Greater Houston Region.
According to the MoU, the contracting parties will take the initiative to exchange trade, market and economy information, and to disseminate to the business people of all parties information on goods, services, and partnership possibilities that may be available from all parties, including airports, seaports, air cargo, and maritime cargo in both the Houston region and the Karachi region; notify each party of and assist each party in trade exhibitions, fairs and similar events promoting the products of all parties in both the Houston region and the Karachi region; promote trade and industrial missions in both the Houston region and the Karachi region to establish joint-ventures; organize meetings and seminars in both the Houston region and the Karachi region to inform business people about potential investments, joint-ventures and advantageous trade opportunities for all parties; and organize the visits of investment experts for the purpose of conducting surveys on each partyâ€™s existing investment opportunities, thus keeping both business communities informed in readiness to facilitate enhanced cooperation and investment projects between the Houston region and the Karachi regionâ€™s business community.
Mian Abrar Ahmad, President of KCCI said that on this auspicious occasion, he wants to inform friends of Karachi & Pakistan that Karachi is ready for business, with all basic infrastructure present, and many resources & investment opportunities available. Karachi Port can provide the access and bridge to sell American goods and services to almost 1/3rd population of the world. Despite issues related to shortage of energy, war on terror in Afghanistan, etc. the economy of Pakistan is progressing well and competing with giants like China and India in the same region.
â€œTrade and commerce progress is fairly good despite issues in Pakistan. What if situation is more stable in Pakistan? It is my message to the decision makers of USA that why not deal with a stabilized Pakistan. Letâ€™s have peace and prosperity in the South Asia region and the world through trade,â€ added Mian Abrar Ahmad.
KKCI and HKSCA have signed this MoU with the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), whose roots can be traced back to Houstonâ€™s original Chamber of Commerce founded in 1840. GHPâ€™s aim is to build regional economic prosperity. The Partnership facilitates relocations and expansions in the Houston area; international outreach initiatives such as business development missions outside the U.S., and receiving foreign trade delegations; and strategic planning. The 10-county Houston region encompasses Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Waller counties.
On listening to the potentials of Karachi, Jeff Moseley, President & CEO of GHP said that he was aware of beautiful city of Islamabad, but today on learning about Karachi, it is not important that delegation of American businesses from Houston should visit Karachi in the very near future.
â€œWhat I have heard from Mr. Mian Abrar Ahmad is to have Peace with Trade: We will look into this how to make it possible,â€ exclaimed Mr. Moseley.
Before the MoU signing, the seven member high profile delegation of KCCI visited and had lunch at Samâ€™s Club, where they were greeted by Khaled Khan (off Bangladeshi descent), who is General Manager from the Wholesale Trading & Export Services, which is a division of Wal*Mart Stores Inc. Delegation members were shown several items, from cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, to processed foods, textile good, furniture, high tech gadgets, and so on; which can be exported to USA and Khaled Khan & his team can assist with the process.
After the MoU signing at GHP, the delegation had hectic schedule as they first visited Prince Plastics of FirozAli Roopani to see how a Pakistani American entrepreneur has build his business with a unique idea to manufacture plastics; then visited the beautiful Turquoise Raindrop Center belonging to the Houston Turkish Community, where they saw architectural glimpses of Ottoman Empire & met with a visiting trade delegation from Turkey; and visited the only Pakistan Center in USA which is located in Southwest Houston, & discussed with President of Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston Taslim Siddiqui the possibilities of using the large Pakistan Center as a warehousing place, where trading items from Pakistan can also be show cased and even sold.
The culmination event of the KCCI delegation tour to Houston was the dinner organized by the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce â€“ USA (PCC-USA) at the International Trade Center (ITC), where PCC-USA office is located. Delegation was impressed to see the systematized ITC office building and said it is a nice place to network with businesses of various intercontinental countries.
KCCI delegation was greeted by Waseem Rahim, President of PCC-USA & his Executives. Waseem Rahim informed that a few days ago, he had returned from Pakistan, and that visit by a high level delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) delegation is expected towards the end of this year, which may coincide with PCC-USA Trade Forum, where Business-2-Business (B-2-B) connections will be made, that will encourage American investors to invest in various sectors in Pakistan, especially power generation, textile goods, and IT.
After his speech about the need to provide equal trading access to Pakistan by US Government and UNO; and potential of Pakistan to play major role in rejuvenating the world economic situation, President of KCCI Mian Abrar Ahmad in answering to a question by Sajjad Burki of Tahreek-e-Insaaf Houston, said that indeed KCCI is pursuing things in the business arena, but without involving politicians and decision makers in this process, we cannot go that far. He said KCCI is developing a questionnaire for all politicians to answer before the next general elections; and with 50,000 members & the 8th largest Chamber of Commerce of the world; we will make sure that we get the answers from all the political candidates. Main question that will be asked is the â€œEnergy Security Plan for Pakistanâ€ of the political parties for the next 20 years. He urged Pakistanis to make American decision makers realize that investing in public in Pakistan and opening trade doors for Pakistani entrepreneurs, will bring much trust among the two countries; and once businesses will have ventures in each otherâ€™s countries, those high stakes will make sure that they keep their respective governments to move fast towards harmony and peace; and that will bring prosperity in Pakistan and resolve the economic issues of USA.
This delegation other than President Mian Abrar Ahmad, comprised of KCCIâ€™s Members of Managing Committee, including Chairman of Diplomatic Affairs Sub-Committee Asif Nisar; Chairman of Health, Education, & CSR Sub-Committee Chaudhary Ansar Jawed; Chairman Trade Development of Exports & Halal Food Sheikh Muhammad Tehseen; Chairman banking & Insurance Sub-Committee Azhar Wasim Puri; Chairman of WTO, Intellectual Property Right Sub-Committee Naeem Ahmed; and Senior Vice Chairman of Fairs, Exhibitions, & Trade Delegation Sub-Committee Rizwan Abdul Razzak Diwan.