Remarks With Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh

Thomas Nides
Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources 
Washington, DC
November 30, 2012

DEPUTY SECRETARY NIDES:  Well, I wanted just to welcome my very, very close friend, the Finance Minister of Pakistan Hafeez Shaikh, and I am honored that he is here.  We’ve had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together both in Islamabad and here in the United States, so I’m excited about being here because we’re going to continue the theme in which we’ve have in the two years that I have been here.  This is about the idea of trade, not just aid.  It’s about economic growth for the people of Pakistan.  It’s about programs that we can do together, not only to help us together for our national securities, but economic growth.  So I’m honored to be here with my friend, and we look forward to having lots of ongoing conversation.  So thank you for coming.

MINISTER SHAIKH:  Thank you.  I’m delighted to be here and feel really privileged to participate in these discussions.  The U.S.-Pakistan economic relationship is very important.  The U.S. is Pakistan’s single-most important trading partner.  Historically, they have invested the most in our country.  I think Deputy Secretary Nides has played a very important part in reenergizing this partnership, and we are looking forward to deepening our economic relationship.  And the areas that we would like to focus are on trade, investment, and better utilization of external assistance and trying to bring our businesses together to put this relationship on a really strong foundation.  Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SECRETARY NIDES:  Thanks buddy.  Thanks you all very much.