NEW YORK: Pakistani Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Maleeha Lodhi on Friday rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in New York to signal the ceremonial start of trading saying Pakistan’s economy is on the upswing as it pursues liberal economic and investor friendly policies.
“We are open to business and we are open to foreign investment,” she told traders and investors gathered at the impressive ceremony held in NASDAQ’s office in New York’s Time Square.
A video based on a patriotic song by Pakistani singer Najam Shiraz was screened ahead of the ceremony. The film depicted historic spots across Pakistan and various features of life in the country that many people at Times Square watched on a giant screen. Pakistan’s national flag was also flashed across the screen.
“It is an honour to represent Pakistan at the NASDAQ opening bell ceremony as part of our Independence Day celebrations from the platform of the Pakistan American Business Association (PABA) which is doing an excellent job to promote Pakistan-US business ties through private sector cooperation,” Dr. Lodhi said before pressing the button to set off the bell.
“Our economy has staged an impressive recovery while our security situation is improving by the day,” she said, adding that, “Our economic reforms and liberalisation policies have placed us on a trajectory to achieve higher economic growth.”
“Pakistan has a functioning democracy, an independent judiciary, and a free and lively media. Our hardworking and enterprising overseas Pakistanis are not only making a mark in their countries of adoption but sending back remittances which are at a record level today.”
“Our strategic location gives Pakistan a pivotal role in promoting regional connectivity. Plans are underway to make Pakistan a regional economic hub providing trade energy and communication corridors linking Central Asia to South and South West Asia and beyond.”
Earlier, top officials of NASDAQ, Andew Hall and David Wicks congratulated the government and people of Pakistan after Hall introduced Ambassador Lodhi.
The Chairman of PABA, M. Siddique Sheikh, President of PABA, Keith Segerson, and active member Sajjad Qamar were among those present at the ceremony which was also attended by Pakistan Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz.
“This year’s Independence Day coincides with a remarkable recovery in Pakistan’s economy. This is a very exciting time for Pakistan to attract foreign investment and for the US based companies to benefit from lucrative incentives this country offers. PABA is ideally poised to work as a bridge between the private sectors of the two countries,” Segerson said in a statement.