Business leaders stressed on the collaborated and sustainable efforts for economic growth at the inaugural launch and dialogue of Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) on the theme of “Imagining the Unimaginable” here on Saturday.
Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Former State Minister and Chairman Board of Investment (BOI), President Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) said the prevailing economic situation in the country is short-lived but it has to be revived in months to come considering the billions of dollar potential exist in every sector of economy.
He said Pakistan is a very attractive market for foreign investors even in this situation which is evident that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is willing to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan for exploring various venues of investment on a long-term basis.
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He said that MAP’s role is very meaningful in the contribution of the private sector and the economy of the country however it needs to enhance its footprint through various chapters and the new membership of experienced members and leaders including women professionals.
Quoting a theme imagine the unimaginable, Faysal Bank Limited CEO & President Yousaf Hussain said the Faysal Bank has been converted to a full-fledged Islamic bank by the end of 2022, which was a dream of its board of directors eight years ago.
The bank will enhance its presence with nearly 700 branches converted by the end of 2022 to be the second largest Islamic of the country with wide range of innovative products including a Sharia-compliant credit card.
Muhammad Aurangzeb, President and CEO Habib Bank Limited and Chairman Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) said Pakistan’s exit from FATF’s grey list is the prime example of the benefits a united efforts by the policymakers, state institutions and the private secto can bring and this should be replicated with the same spirit for addressing the core macroeconomic issues.
He added that the Charter of Economy is a workable idea at a national level to address the selected areas of the economy by all these key stakeholders on a sustainable basis.
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Ghias Khan, President Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and Engro Corporation said the government should devise a comprehensive policy environment that can give a boost to productive sectors and industries rather than unproductive sectors like real estate.
He also said that the government should also realize that the country’s economic growth is bound to regional growth like in the case of the GCC and ASEAN, hence, bilateral trade with neighboring countries should be promoted in the future.
Maheen Rahman, CEO InfraZamin said that Pakistan stands among the five most populous countries in the world but its contribution is negligible in the global economy whereas 60 % GDP of the world is contributed by 10 most populous countries and unfortunately we being part of this select group only contribute 0.4%
She highlighted that Pakistan can double its share in the global economy by doubling its GDP, labour productivity, and women’s participation in the workforce. In this regard, investment in human capital is indispensable mainly in the areas of health, education and skilled development.
Aamir Paracha, CEO Unilever Pakistan Limited said the government policy should also consider its focus from GDP growth rate to the development of Human Development Index (HDI), which we as a country stand among the lowest across the world.
He further said that the government and NGOs could not fill the gap between society and the economy but the private sector should also take ownership for the development of the socio-economic situation of the country, he further said.
Former Information Minister Javed Jabbar said Pakistan has immense potential to develop on the face of the world with various unique derivatives, lots of opportunities, and its geographical presence.
The formation of Pakistan can also be attributed as imagining the unimagine as not only British Empire but congress and Muslim scholars were against Quad-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan, he added.
Country Manager SAP Pakistan was the moderator of the dialogue.