The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) recently concluded an insightful forum at the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad.
The event was titled: “Pakistan At Cross Roads”, where a large number of learned speakers, entrepreneurs, regulatory officials and leading diplomats had gathered to discuss the key issues in Pakistan’s National Economy, Development of a better Skilled Workforce and presenting the Country’s Narrative, to cope with the emerging trends and need for global competitiveness.
The main themes of this conference presented; an overview of the current state of Pakistan’s economy – considering the Opportunities, Challenges and the Ease of doing business. Another session was focused on; the importance of Skilled workforce development, where the experts discussed ways to increase productivity and exports, fulfill industry requirements, anticipate future trends and appreciate the efforts made by international partners.
The third session’s theme was to refresh the Country Narrative, for strengthening Pakistan’s image internationally. The business leaders shared their wisdom to; Attract international investors while overcoming the security challenges. The conference was supported by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union and the governments of Germany and Norway.
The President of APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi thanked the distinguished participants of the forum and stated that: “The vibrant business community of Pakistan is playing a pivotal role in economic progress, as we collaborate with the key stakeholders, international experts and institutions, to suggest realignments in government policies with the changing needs and evolving dynamics of global trade and commerce. We are inspiring fresh efforts towards capacity-building and skills development to nurture a globally competitive workforce. Moreover, the learned participants have also suggested a powerful new narrative for Pakistan, to strengthen its image as a safe, robust and attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investments.”
The distinguished speakers in the first session on “Economy” included: The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan – Stefano Pontecorvo, the Managing Director of CHT Pakistan Ltd – Mr. Haroon Ali Khan and the Chairman of KASB Corporation – Mr. Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics – Dr. Asad Zaman. This session also featured an Expert Panel-Discussion in which, the participants included: Mr. Anthony Renzulli – Deputy Economic Counselor U.S Embassy, Mr. Nabeel Hashmi – C.E.O Thermosole Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Nadeem Ahmad – CEO Aaqua Regia Group of Companies, Mr. Muhammad Khalid – Executive Director Volka Food International Ltd, Ms. Uzma Manzar – CEO Platform and Mr. Amir Munir – Director CEI Supply Chain (Pvt) Ltd, along with the President of APBF as the Moderator..
The second session titled: “Skill Workforce Development” featured distinguished speakers like; the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Pakistan – Jean-François Cautain, Mr. Jens Jokisch, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema – Executive Director NAVTTC, Mr. Muhammad Ali Khan – Team Leader at TVET Sector Support Programme. The Expert Panel Discussion in this session featured delegates like; Daniel Ramos Espiritu – Philippines Ambassador, Mr. Saadat Ali – Senior Programme Officer, Embassy of the Netherlands, Ms. Quanita Ali Khan – Economist World Bank, Mr. Hans-Ludwig Bruns – Head of Programme, TVET Sector Support Programme, Mr. Agha Zafar Abbas – CEO Kansai Paints Ltd. and Ms. Sabina Ahmed – TVET Expert. The Moderator of this panel was Mr. Muhammad Ali Khan from TVET Sector Support Programme.
The 3rd session focused on “Country Narrative”, where the speakers included; Carlos Morales Sánchez–Ambassador of Spain, Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy – Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Amer A. Hashmi – Advisor, NUST & President Global Think Tank Network and Dr. Hassan Shoaib Murad – Chairman National Business Accreditation Council UMT. The Expert Panel Discussion in this session featured: Nicolae GOIA – Romanian Ambassador, Ahmed Mohamed Fadel Yacoub – Egyptian Ambassador, Mr. Hafiz Ehsan Khokhar – Federal Ombudsman, Dr. Hafiz Abdul Karem – Federal Minister for Communications, Dr. Azam Chohan – CEO Vigilant Veterinary Services, and Mr. Manzoor Malik – Vice President of FPCCI and Dr. Dania Qazi– CEO Leadership College, along with Waseem Zakaria – CEO Footlib Ltd as the Moderator.