US Lawmakers Introduce New Investment Fund for Pakistan

Senate Foreign Relations heads Richard Lugar and John Kerry. Photo by: Chad J. McNeeley / Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / CC BY Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffCC BY

Senate Foreign Relations heads John Kerry and Richard Lugar have introduced a bill that seeks to establish a new fund aimed at attracting private investments into Pakistan.

The new fund will be backed by financing from Lugar and Kerry’s aid bill and help to drive capital and foreign direct investment into the Asian country, according to The Cable’s Josh Rogin.

“The United States can help the Pakistani private sector provide jobs, opportunity, and hope to Pakistanis using creative tools such as this Enterprise Fund,” Kerry said in a statement July 30. “It’s a clear example of how the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package can help make a real difference in stimulating growth in Pakistan based on the remarkable results we have had with similar funds in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.”

The Obama administration has been working on the fund for months, several administration officials told The Cable, adding that they fully endorse Congress’ efforts to pass legislation in support of the fund.

The fund, which is a multi-year program, needs congressional authorization, said Mary Beth Goodman, top economic adviser to U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke. Some USD60 million each year will be channeled to the fund for five years, Goodman said.

“Pakistan needs the up-front risk capital to spur investment, and we hope to use the enterprise funds in a variety of sectors to facilitate that effort,” she said.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.