US sponsors Pakistani entrepreneurs through ‘Startup Connect Programme’

KARACHI: The United States Consul General Karachi Nicole Theriot Friday highlighted the valuable contributions of the US-Pakistani diaspora, who are a key partner in the humanitarian, social, and commercial sectors in Pakistan.

At a US-Pakistani diaspora conference here, the Consul General Theriot highlighted the longstanding US-Pakistan partnership to advance Pakistan’s economic growth and emphasized continued opportunities for future partnership.

While addressing the need for strengthening climate resilience in the country, CG Theriot said, “We are one team working toward the same goal, and the United States is committed to helping the US-Pakistani diaspora and local investors find opportunities and work with Pakistan through the Green Alliance framework to strengthen climate resilience, pursue energy transformation, and foster economic growth.”

This conference continued the momentum built at a January 25 conference in Islamabad where USAID signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) to accelerate investments by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in Pakistan’s technology sector.

At that conference, OPEN Silicon Valley also launched their flagship Startup Connect program for Pakistani entrepreneurs in terms of coaching, mentoring, venture capital, and accessing markets.

CG Theriot said, “The conference was an opportunity to highlight some of the contributions and investments already made by the Pakistani diaspora, facilitate collaborations between Pakistani diaspora entities, and develop a road map for collective action to address the current economic, humanitarian, and social challenges in Pakistan.”

The conference was sponsored by USAID, through its Project Finance Advisory Network Project, in close coordination with the US-Pakistani diaspora entity OPEN, Silicon Valley.

Attendees discussed the fundamental challenges and opportunities in Pakistan’s technology sector and the path forward. More than 400 participants attended in-person, including members of the US-Pakistani diaspora, prominent local business leaders, and Pakistani officials, including Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh; Syed Qasim Naveed Qamar, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Investment and PPPs; and Syed Aminul Haque, Federal Minister for Information and Telecommunication.

The United States remained firmly committed to engaging and partnering with the U.S.-Pakistani diaspora to address Pakistan’s challenges in the technology, humanitarian, social, and commercial sectors, and to further Pakistan’s development goals.

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