Minister of State & Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Mr. Tariq Ikram spent a very busy day traversing between the cities of Austin and Houston, which are about 235 kilometers apart. He arrived in Houston on February 13th and was received at the Bush Intercontinental Airport by his host committee of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce â€“ USA (PCC-USA): Mohammad Saeed Sheikh President 2008 and Rafique Jangdah, V.P.. He is on a Pakistan â€“ USA Trade Enhancement Mission and especially invited by PCC-USA.
Earlier next day, Minister Tariq Ikram traveled to Texas State Capitol Austin, to hold important luncheon meeting at the Austin Chamber of Commerce with five executives of world-class health companies, which are part of the Clinical Trial Network. Fruitful talks were held to expand the opportunities to bring world-class pharmaceutical products for the health sector in Pakistan.
Later in the afternoon, Minister Tariq Ikram met Texas Governor Rick Perry at his office for a most cordial meeting, which lasted more than an hour. Mr. Ikram was accompanied by President PCC-USA 2008 Muhammad Saeed Shaikh, out going President for 2007 Lala Gul Faraz Khan, PCC-USA Chairman Advisory Council Haroon Shaikh, PCC-USA Founding Member Nusru Roopani, immediate past President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) and Karachi Liaison of PCC-USA Mr. Majyd Aziz and Commercial AttachÃ© Pakistan Consulate Houston Dr. Zia Ahmed.
Governor Perry accepted on principle that he will make another visit to Pakistan and this time as the Texas Trade Mission to Pakistan October 2008, the composition of which will be soon finalized by PCC-USA in collaboration with the Office of Secretary of Texas. Minister Ikram gave the greetings on behalf of Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Soomro and placed in front of Governor Perry various projects in Pakistan like Coal Mining, Off-Shoring, New Technologies in Aerospace and Private Sector Industrialization; Governor Perry showed keen interest in all of the positive prospects Pakistan has to offer and reiterated his enthusiasm about his intended October 2008 visit to Pakistan.
From the Governorâ€™s Office, the delegation went to meet State Secretary Phil Wilson, who said his office will make sure everything is well taken care as far as Texas Governor Trade Delegation October 2008 to Pakistan is concerned and that they are excited about working with PCC-USA to make sure that the intended visit will prove to be historic.
Minister Tariq Ikram returned in the evening to Houston to attend a special dinner at Pakistani La-Sani Restaurant, which was organized by his hosts PCC-USA. Present on the occasion were Consul General of Pakistan in Houston Mohammad Aqeel Nadeem, Commercial AttachÃ© Pakistan Consulate Houston Dr. Zia Ahmed, staff of various congressional offices, candidates vying for various electorate offices in USA Elections, Community Media and many community activists. MC on the occasion was Honorary Investment Advisor of Government of Pakistan Faisal Amin. Special congressional proclamations were given to Minster Ikram from the offices of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman AL-Green and Congressman Nick Lampson. Thos who spoke on the occasion included PCC-USA 2008 Muhammad Saeed Shaikh, out going President for 2007 Lala Gul Faraz Khan, PCC-USA Chairman Advisory Council Haroon Shaikh, Commercial AttachÃ© Pakistan Consulate Houston Dr. Zia Ahmed and Consul General of Pakistan in Houston Mohammad Aqeel Nadeem. Talking on the occasion, Mr. Ikram reminded that Pakistanis living abroad are real asset and ambassadors of Pakistan. He said Pakistan has faced several challenges especially since 1999, but has resolved all of the problems. This is especially true in the field of economics, where Pakistani economy from the state of total gloom has now gained the healthy growth and stabilization. With Allah SWT Blessings, nobody can reverse this positive trend. Mr. Ikram said PCC-USA will assist his office in doing research on various products, which Pakistan exports to other countries and which USA imports from other countries and see why USA does not import those items from Pakistan. With such homework done, the already grown Pakistan – USA Trade can be easily enhance manifolds.
Minister Tariq Ikram will be spending further busy tour and his visit will culminate with participation in the Annual Banquet of PCC-USA, where Chief Guest is USA Senator from Texas Ms. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Stay Tuned for more reports soon.