The Pakistan Club at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business is proud to host a comprehensive conference focusing on new business, trade, and investment opportunities in the Silk Route from Turkey and China to Pakistan and everything in between. The ancient Silk Road was the major inland international trade route and commercial lifeline linking Europe to Asia before the advent of European seafaring nations and the paradigm shift from overland caravan trade to maritime trade by sail ships. Today, these Central Asian countries are re-establishing commercial linkages that had been disrupted by the advent of maritime trade and colonization of the region by imperial powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Our event’s representative speakers will introduce these countries to the target audience of Chicago investment and business community to showcase their current and potential trade, investment and commercial relations with each other as well as the rest of the world. These countries are undergoing tremendous rates of change politically, socially/demographically and economically, and some are fully integrated in the global trading system.


Gleacher Center
Room 300
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:

Event Details

The ancient Silk Road is once again geo-economically relevant after the demise of the USSR and (re)connection of the Central Asian states with China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. The energy (oil and gas reserves and current output) potential and the ongoing infrastructural developments (pipeline, rail links, road construction and air links) taking place in this geographic space are unparalleled in the region’s history. Pakistan occupies a significant position in the geopolitical and geo-economic matrix of South, South-West and Central Asia. It offers the shortest distance from the landlocked Central Asian states (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) to international maritime shipping lanes with its three deep sea ports at Karachi, Qasim (container terminal) and Gawadar. The development of the National Transportation and Trade Corridor from Karachi to Peshawar and the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) tandem oil and gas pipelines as well as the Iranian gas pipeline via Pakistan to India will make Pakistan a major intersection at the crossroads of the new Silk Road. The Karakoram Highway already links the port of Karachi to China’s Sinkiang province. Pakistan is a founding member of two regional trade organizations (ECO and SAARC) which include all the countries of the region and has recently concluded a FTA with China. Thus, as the commercial, energy and road infrastructure is further developed and integrated in the region, Pakistan’s location will make it a hub in this trade and transportation corridor linking the countries of the Silk Road. A map of the Silk Road: Countries participating in this event include Azerbaijan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey and the United States. The combined population of these countries, excluding the United States, is 2.8 billion people, which is about half of the world population; GDP s (PPP terms) is 10 trillion US Dollars; and total foreign trade (export plus import) is 7.6 trillion US Dollars. The conference offers an ideal business environment for experienced international business executives, “new-to-export” and “new-to-market” companies. Trade Commissioners of China, India, Pakistan, and Turkey will be available for business related assistance. Our partners and co-sponsors in this endeavor are the Central Asian Productivity Research Center (Prof. Harry Lepinske), the Turkish Trade Office in Chicago, and the Commercial Section, Consulate of Pakistan (Chicago).


No Charge


Register By Email
No walk-ins allowed.

Deadline: 6/4/2008


8:30 AM-9:00 AM: Registration/Networking

9:15 AM-9:30 AM: Jack Lavin, Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

9:30 AM-9:50 AM: Hon. Elin Suleymanov, Consul General , Consulate General, Republic of Azerbaijan in Chicago

9:50 AM-10:20 AM: Hon. Ping Huang, Consulate General , Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China (Chicago)

10:20 AM-10:40 AM: Hon. Ashok Kumar Atri, Consul-General, Consulate-General of India (Chicago)

10:40 AM-11:10 AM: Hon. Olzhas A. Issabekov, Second Secretary (Economic Affairs), Embassy of Kazakhstan, Washington DC

11:10 AM-11:30 AM: Hon. Dr. Aman Rashid, Consul General, Consulate General of Pakistan (Chicago)

11:30 AM-12:00 PM: Hon. U. Kenan Ipek, Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey (Chicago)

12:00 PM-12:15 PM: Q & A

12:30 PM-2:00 PM: Lunch

9:00 AM-9:15 AM: K. Rizwan Kadir, President, Chicago GSB Pakistan Club

12:15 PM-12:30 PM: Harry Lepinske, Central Asian Productivity Research Center


K. Rizwan Kadir 
President, Pakistan Club