KARACHI: The All Pakistan Business Forum’s (APBF) insightful forum titled “Pakistan at Cross Roads”, concluded at the Marriot Hotel.
A large number of well known speakers, entrepreneurs, regulatory officials and leading diplomats had gathered to discuss key issues for Pakistan’s national economy, development of a better skilled workforce and presented the country’s narrative to cope with the emerging trends and need for global competitiveness.
The main themes of the conference presented an overview of the current state of Pakistan’s economy – considering the opportunities, challenges and the ease of doing business.
One session focused on the importance of skilled workforce development, where experts discussed ways to increase productivity and exports, fulfil industry requirements, anticipate future trends and appreciate efforts made by international partners.
The third session’s theme was to refresh the country narrative, for strengthening Pakistan’s image internationally. Business leaders shared their wisdom to attract international investors while overcoming 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.
APBF President 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 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 first session on “Economy” included: Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo, CHT Pakistan Ltd Managing Director Haroon Ali Khan, KASB Corporation Chairman Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Vice Chancellor Asad Zaman. The session also featured an expert panel discussion in which the participants included: US Embassy Deputy Economic Counsellor Anthony Renzulli, Thermosole Industries (Pvt) Ltd CEO Nabeel Hashmi, Aqua Regia Group of Companies CEO Nadeem Ahmad, Volka Food International Ltd Executive Director Muhammad Khalid, Platform CEO Uzma Manzar and CEI Supply Chain (Pvt) Ltd Director Amir Munir, along with president of the APBF as the moderator.
The second session titled “Skill Workforce Development” featured: Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany Deputy Head of Mission Jens Jokisch, NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema, and Muhammad Ali Khan, team leader at TVET sector support programme.
Article first appeared in the Daily Times.