U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome on Tuesday visited Gwadar and reiterated America’s support for Balochistan’s development, including economic growth, disaster relief and preparedness; security; the benefits of U.S. trade and investment; and measures Islamabad can take to strengthen and improve its investment climate.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy Islamabad, the envoy’s visit was aimed at underscoring the United States’ commitment to the people of Balochistan. It said the visit had explored opportunities to enrich development, trade, and commercial ties, building on the successful outcomes that underpin the robust U.S.- Pakistan bilateral relationship.
Noting the “strong history” of collaboration between the U.S. and Balochistan, the statement said Washington had helped 661,000 individuals, providing both food and much-needed cash assistance, after last year’s devastating floods. “And nearly 90,000 children were given nourishing meals to combat the threat of starvation,” it said, adding U.S. support over the past year had also helped renovate 41 health facilities. “In the field of education, U.S. support is strengthening programs at BUITEMS and Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, and empowering the next generation of youth by developing literacy and education materials in Balochi and various local languages,” it added.
Blome, per the statement, met with political leaders, representatives of the Gwadar Chamber of Commerce, and a diverse group of government and private sector leaders during his visit. It said his meeting with the Chamber of Commerce had focused on ways to increase U.S. 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,” it said, adding the group had also discussed how deepening business partnerships could enhance technical skills in Balochistan and help increase bilateral trade.
The envoy’s meetings with government and business leaders, meanwhile, had revolved around the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, aimed at helping 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,” said Blome. According to the embassy, U.S. assistance under the Green Alliance has helped over 12,000 farmers, including many in Balochistan, to 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, Ambassador Blome discussed regional issues and emphasized a continued partnership in the years ahead, the statement added.