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IWCCI demands market access, linkages with US business community

Dr. Marilyn Wyatt is addressing pakistani business women at IWCCI

Islamabad:US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has lauded the successes of female entrepreneurs in Pakistan at a visit to the Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IWCCI).

During this visit, Ambassador Munter and Dr. Marilyn Wyatt met more than 100 successful women entrepreneurs, including Samina Fazil, founder President of IWCCI and owner of Misha’s Collection, which was founded in 1989 with start-up funding of about $1,100 and now exports goods to international markets.

President IWCCI Alia Akram, Chairman Media FPCCI Malik Sohail and others were also present on the occasion.

Ambassador Munter said, “The American Mission is committed to helping women–led businesses and women entrepreneurs because Pakistan’s prosperity is closely linked to not only the success of its men, but also that of its women entrepreneurs.” He encouraged the members of IWCCI to work with other Chambers of Commerce across Pakistan to present a unified voice to lobby the Government of Pakistan for necessary reforms to remove obstacles that hinder economic growth. “A sustainable future for Pakistan will require significant participation of the private sector and significant reforms on the part of the government to enable the private sector to flourish. It will require a common vision and the participation of the people of Pakistan and the visible commitment of the government of the people,” he said.The U.S. Embassy is committed to the development of the next generation of women entrepreneurs and business leaders in Pakistan. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pakistan has trained more than 70,000 women micro-entrepreneurs in Punjab and Sindh in financial literacy, he said.

The Ambassador said that through its Gender Equity Program, FIRMS project, and trade project, among others, USAID is helping create a socially just, democratic, and gender responsive society.

These programs have helped Pakistani women-owned enterprises enhance their competiveness and increase their sales, while also working on developing a regional trade portal for women entrepreneurs to facilitate trade among South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, Samina Fazil, Alia Akram, Malik Sohail and others also spoke on the occasion. They lauded the American support in the development of economy and businesses.The speakers called for enhanced linkages among business community of two countries as a strong business sector is the foundation of a sustainable Pakistan. Samina Fazil sought enhanced US support for Pakistani goods in the US and EU markets.

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