US Ambassador Donald Blome is speaking to the media in Gwadar, Balochistan on September 12, 2023. — US Embassy Islamabad

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US Ambassador Donald Blome is speaking to the media in Gwadar, Balochistan on September 12, 2023. — US Embassy Islamabad

US Ambassador Donald Blome visited Gwadar to underscore the United States’ commitment to the people of Balochistan, a partnership that remains steadfast and robust, the US embassy said in a statement on Tuesday.

The visit explored opportunities to enrich development, trade, and commercial ties, building on the successful outcomes that underpin the robust US-Pakistan bilateral relationship, it added.

Gwadar is at the centre of the Chinese-funded multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative under which a number of projects are launched in the coastal city including the port.

During his visit to the city, the ambassador held productive discussions with political leaders, representatives from the Gwadar Chamber of Commerce, and a diverse group of government and private sector leaders.

In his meeting with political leaders, the statement added, Donald Blome reiterated US support for Balochistan’s development, touching on economic growth, disaster relief and preparedness; security; the benefits of US trade and investment; and measures Pakistan can take to strengthen and improve its investment climate.

The ambassador’s meeting with members of the Gwadar Chamber of Commerce focused on ways to increase US trade and investment in the region’s business, logistics, tourism, fisheries, and blue economy sectors. The group shared how growing these business-to-business relationships can help create inclusive, Pakistani-led growth that supports jobs across Balochistan. They also discussed how deepening business partnerships can enhance technical skills in Balochistan and help increase bilateral trade.

In his meetings with government and business leaders, Ambassador Blome discussed the US-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, which is helping both countries jointly meet climate, energy, water, and economic needs.

“We are especially focused on supporting Balochistan and all of Pakistan as it strengthens climate resilience, pursues energy transformation, and fosters inclusive economic growth,” Ambassador Blome was quoted as saying.

Under the Green Alliance, US assistance has helped more than 12,000 farmers, including many in Balochistan, across 2,000 hectares increase yields and reduce harvest and postharvest losses through improved technology and management practices.

Ambassador Blome also visited Gwadar Port and met with Port Authority Chairman Pasand Khan Buledi to learn about port operations and development plans, Gwadar’s potential as a regional trans-shipment hub, and ways to connect with Pakistan’s largest export market: the United States.

In a meeting with Pakistan Naval West Command, the envoy discussed regional issues and emphasised a continued partnership in the years ahead.

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