KARACHI: Pakistan is becoming more attractive for the United States as a trade partner and an investment destination, said Raymond Ellis, Vice President of the Global Business Development Division of US Export-Import Bank’s Export Finance Group.

“We see opportunities here. The entrepreneurial spirit among Pakistanis is fascinating,” he said while talking to a select group of journalists at the residence of US consul-general on Thursday.

On a question about the banks’ priority areas in Pakistan, he said: “We’re a demand-driven bank. We don’t pick sectors. We don’t pick buyers and sellers, we are in the business of financing and providing guarantee to banks supporting a deal that involves exports of US products or services”.

He said current exposure of the bank in Pakistan is $660 million, of which $485m is with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Earlier this month, the Exim Bank agreed to provide $55m funding for the refurbishment of PIA’s Boeing 777 aircraft engines by American firm General Electric (GE). The deal is the bank’s largest financing activity in Pakistan since 2006.

On a question if low US exports to Pakistan compared to imports were worrying for the bank, he said Pakistani companies also needed to think why they are not buying from the US.

Exim Bank has supported the purchase of $717.9 billion in US exports worldwide. The Export Finance Group division of the US Exim Bank oversees business development outreach activities across the world.

According to provisional data on the website of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan exported goods worth Rs154bn (around $1.5bn) to the US during July-November 2014, or 15 per cent of its total exports.

Imports from the United States stood above Rs71bn (nearly $700m) during the period, or 3.5 per cent of the total imports of Pakistan.

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