Masood Khan seeks US expertise in agri modernization

Masood Khan visits California’s top leadership and both sides agree to cement cooperation in agriculture, tap full potential of Punjab-California Sister-state relationship.

LOS ANGELES: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has sought United States’ expertise and technology in agriculture modernization, hybrid seed development and climate smart crops and agriculture in his country.

“Pakistan and the United States have a longstanding cooperation in agriculture sector. Universities from the two countries are intertwined,” he said.

Ambassador Khan made these remarks while talking to California’s Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis during their meeting at the latter’s residence in Los Angeles. Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles Asim Ali Khan was also present.

The ambassador was on a three-day visit to Los Angeles where he met senior leadership of California, think-tank and media representatives and community leaders, especially of Pakistani diaspora.

Talking to Lt. Governor Kounalakis, the ambassador said the two sides could also collaborate in IT and energy sectors. He said Pakistan was already connected with the Silicon Valley and many Pakistani-American and American firms were investing in Pakistan’s tech sector.

“Similarly, there is huge potential of broadening the scope of cooperation in new energies and renewable energy sector,” he observed.

He said Pakistani universities were intertwined with the United States. He pointed out that Agriculture University Faisalabad has a multifaceted cooperation with its U.S. partner university.

Appreciating her role in establishment of Punjab-California Sister State relationship, Masood Khan said there was a need to take cooperation under Sister-State relationship to the next level for tapping full potential of the arrangement.

Lt. Governor appreciated Ambassador’s remarks and said that the United States has best technological and labour practices and she was focused on changing farming perception in the state.

She offered her full support in cementing bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and California in agriculture sector. Both also agreed to enhance cooperation in other sectors including IT and energy sectors.

Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis also offered help in placement of Pakistani film content on Netflix in order to promote cultural and people-to-people ties between Pakistan and the United States.

Meanwhile, renowned World Affairs Council of Orange County hosted luncheon in honor of Ambassador Masood Khan. 

Speaking on the occasion, Masood Khan said Pakistan did not want to choose between the United States and China. Instead, Pakistan could act as an economic bridge between the two countries. He said there was a need to enhance understanding between Pakistan and United States and remove misperceptions. This, he said, could be done through robust people-to-people exchanges, students, and academics, lawmakers, government officials, traders and investors travelling to each other’s countries. He said that 64pc of Pakistan’s population was below the age of 30.

“It’s a big cohort. With over 300 universities in the country, we are investing in education for our youth to equip them with skills that will ultimately contribute to the economy of Pakistan,” he said.

He said that California has a sizeable Pakistani American community and we connect with California in so many ways.

Underscoring the importance of Pak-US relations, the Ambassador recounted cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education, agriculture, and manufacturing industry since the independence of Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan’s tech exports to the United States reached $1.4 billion last year showing an increased bond between Pakistan and the United States in the tech sector.

Masood Khan highlighted that venture capital firms from Silicon Valley were investing heavily in Pakistan. “This existing infrastructure must be optimized and it must act as a catalyst for investments between Pakistan and the United States,” he emphasized.

Ambassador Masood Khan also highlighted various initiatives being taken for women’s empowerment with the help of the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the US-Pakistan Business Council by giving priority to education with the United States, allocating $19 Million to streamline Pakistan’s higher education system.

Later, Masood Khan visited Dorsey and Whitney LLP and received briefing on firm’s international practice.

The Ambassador also visited SpaceX headquarters in California and the Starlink facility. He was briefed about the Starlink’s global operations and toured its manufacturing facility.

The ambassador lauded Space X spirit of innovation and technological advancement. He also held meetings with a diverse group of officials, elected representatives, and mayors from the State of California having productive discussions in furthering cooperation between Pakistan and California.

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