NEW YORK, NY — Pakistan American Business Association (PABA), a Virginia-based non-profit organization, was joined by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, to ring the NASDAQ Opening Bell as part of the celebrations to mark Pakistan’s 69th Independence Day.
Flanked by Founder and Chairman of PABA, M. Siddique Sheikh, President Keith Segerson and guests, Ambassador Lodhi pressed the button to signal the opening of trading day at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, New York City on August 28. The ceremony was also attended by Pakistan’s Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz and representatives of financial and business institutions.
This is the first time ever that Pakistan’s Independence Day was celebrated at the NASDAQ, organized by PABA. The event was streamed live on the NASDAQ screen in Times Square and was widely reported by Pakistani and U.S. media, including CNBC, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg.
A video showing Pakistan’s culture and its achievement was repeatedly played on the gigantic NASDAQ screen along with the country’s flag and PABA ‘s red-and-green logo.
“It is an honor to represent Pakistan at the NASDAQ Opening Bell ceremony as part of our Independence Day celebrations from the platform of Pakistan American Business Association which is doing an excellent job to promote Pakistan-U.S. business ties through private sector cooperation,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
Pakistan’s economy has staged a remarkable turnaround in only two years and growing. Bloomberg ranked Pakistan 3rd among the top ten Best Performing Markets in 2014; 14th among the top potential investment locations in 2016. In addition, rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P have recently upgraded Pakistan’s credit ratings.
Ambassador Lodhi highlighted Pakistan’s economic achievements and said that the country’s strategic location makes it an attraction destination for foreign investment. She also praised contribution of overseas Pakistanis to the country’s development. “Pakistanis are not only making a mark in their countries of adoption but sending back remittances which are at a record level today.”
PABA President Keith Segerson underscored the role the association is playing in promoting business and commercial ties between Pakistan and the United States.
“This year’s Independence Day coincides with a remarkable recovery in Pakistan’s economy. This is a very exciting time for Pakistan to attract foreign investment and for the U.S. based companies to benefit from lucrative incentives this country offers. PABA is ideally poised to work as a bridge between the private sectors of the two countries,” Mr. Segerson remarked.
He also announced PABA’s plan to host an International Convention and Trade Show in Washington, DC next year that will bring together Pakistani and American companies under one platform to explore mutually beneficial business opportunities.
Earlier, NASDAQ Managing Director Andrew Hall and NASDAQ Vice President, OMX, David Wicks greeted PABA and the people of Pakistan on the country’s Independence Day.
Established in 1986, PABA has become a leading business networking and advocacy organization. PABA’s mission is to create economic prosperity for both the United States and Pakistan through collaboration and partnership.