ACCA and Board of Investment work together on “Ease of Doing Business” reforms

ACCA - BOI

Karachi(Cliff News)During a meeting with Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said that the government is focused on addressing the structural problems in the economy to ensure export-led development and achieve stabilisation through development of human resource in the country.Highlighting some of the structural issues, the BoI chairman said that the professional bodies such as ACCA has a significant role to play in the development of human resource in the fields of corporate management, particularly corporate finance. Helen Brand highlighted that ACCA is training professionals on the line of fulfilling the requirements of digital age and is inculcating the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.“We are looking for tangible partnerships with private sector to bring in their knowledge and expertise to get the desired results.” – Haroon Sharif, Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI)The ACCA team also shared some of the insights on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and overall business environment in Pakistan. Haroon Sharif appreciated the efforts of ACCA in finding the gaps in the policy and implementation and asked them to share concrete recommendations with the BoI, which is the Secretariat for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reforms in the country.Earlier, Helen Brand OBE called on the Chairman of Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Mr. Tariq Iqbal Khan in Islamabad to explore opportunities for future partnerships. Senior representatives from the AOB, including Usman Hayat, Chief Executive Officer and Shahid Karim FCCA, Chief Regulatory Officer were also present at the meeting.Helen also met with Zia ul Mustafa Awan, President, ICMA Pakistan to discuss greater collaboration between both the professional accountancy bodies in developing the accountancy profession in Pakistan. Helen was also joined by Alan Johnson, Deputy President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Chair of ACCA’s Accountants for Business Global Forum.Helen Brand OBE was in Pakistan to attend the third edition of Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit. Powered by ACCA’s award-winning Professional Insights and featuring business leaders and luminaries from around the world, ACCA joined the summit as a Knowledge Partner.On the sidelines of the summit, Helen also attended different sessions hosted by country’s top leadership, most notably the sessions hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi and General Zubair Mahmood Hayat NI, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

 

 

ACCA announced Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019

PLC-Presentation-Title-16-9-01

Lahore(Cliff News)Current and future issues facing the business in Pakistan and the role of business leaders in shaping the economy will be the main focus at the annual conference ‘Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019 (PLC 2019)’ announced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), with high-profile events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad starting 18 February.Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) is a series of conferences that brings together prominent thought leaders from the public and private sectors and engage them in thought-provoking and future-focused conversations that aim to shape the future of society and economy in Pakistan. The conference features influential business leaders at the top of their profession and brings together hundreds of business professionals from across the globe.The British High Commission Islamabad has also joined ACCA as a co-organiserfor this conference. The agenda at the PLC 2019 will examine a wide range of key topics from institutional reforms to global competitiveness to digital revolution. There will be six panel discussions in which experts will discuss in detail the need for strategic business leadership possessing the right blend of ethical and professional skills to meet the demands of an uncertain future. Importantly, there’s a dedicated session planned for the leading policy makers and business operators to debate the implications of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).Speaking of the conference, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says:“With an evolving business environment bringing a range of new challenges, the primary theme of this year’s PLC is ‘Strategic business leaders – capacity and character’ to rethink and redefine the role of business leaders of the future.”Attendees will have the best opportunity to discover updates in FinTech, taxation, global trade and China’s Belt and Road Initiative and will get exposure to global thought leaders including the President of ACCA, Mr. Robert Stenhouse who will be delivering a keynote at the conference.Started in 2017, Pakistan Leadership Conversation has now become an important annual event for those who want to keep abreast with the way the business world and accountancy profession is evolving.The conference will also be complemented by three corporate networking dinners celebrating the achievement of young ACCA affiliates who have attained membership in the year 2018-19.

About ACCA:

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.

No change in Government policy on foreign ownership

Karachi(Cliff News)In a meeting with members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) on 1stFebruary, at OICCI Karachi, Mr Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, cleared the confusion caused by a recent statement by some authorities, and confirmed that there is no change in Government policy on 100% foreign shareholding allowed in legal entities incorporated in Pakistan. He further clarified that to encourage MNCs to set up JVs with local partners the government will need to give some incentives. The Advisor also emphasized on the need for large foreign investment in the manufacturing sector to promote value added exports and import substitution. Mr Dawood also assured that level playing field will be provided to existing investors, as well as new local and foreign investors.OICCI members’ issues shared with the Advisor, included concerns on the effective protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for trademarks, patents’ and copy rights and to make the Intellectual Property Organization Policy Board functional as it has not met since late 2016.The Advisor on Commerce and Investment assured the largest bloc of foreign investors in Pakistan that the Government of Pakistan led by PM Imran Khan is highly focused on improving Ease of Doing Business and is committed to go the extra mile to facilitate investment and commerce in the country. In this respect he referred to the recent economic reforms package announced by Minister of Finance on  23rd January and BOI Chairman’s recent media briefing highlighting various steps to facilitate SME’s and other businesses in the area of tax compliance, property registration and other aspects of Ease of Doing Business.The Adviser also informed participants that the government will soon announce a new ‘Industrial Policy’ and “National Tariff Policy’, in coordination with each specific sectors and also assured that the GoP was focused on improving interprovincial coordination.OICCI members shared growing interest and optimism in the government’s efforts to create a more friendly business enabling environment and recommended that the GOP should provide clarity on the Special Economic Zones and revised Investment Policy to further accelerate FDI in the country.Some of the OICCI members were extremely concerned on the growing abuse of Afghan Transit Trade Facility impacting the manufacturers in Pakistan, which, the Advisor assured, was already in the knowledge of the government authorities and some corrective action will be forthcoming soon.

About the OICCI:

Established in 1860, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) serves as a platform to promote foreign investment, thereby playing a major role in the growth of commerce and industry in the country. The OICCI is the collective voice of close to 200 members, representing nearly all the largest foreign investors in Pakistan, who come from 35 different countries and operate in 14 different sectors of trade and industry. In its comprehensive function as a facilitator to foreign investors, OICCI plays a vital role on several fronts and the Chamber is frequently called upon to assist the government in policy formulation in the financial, commercial and industrial sectors, particularly where it impacts foreign investment. 56 OICCI member companies are listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Nearly 50 Members are associates of the Global Fortune 500 companies.

Need to raise awareness about fortification of flour, ghee & oil stressed

kcci-trdp img

Karachi(Cliff News)Chief Executive Officer of Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP) Allah Nawaz Soomro has stressed the need to raise awareness about fortification of flour, ghee and oil amongst the masses particularly millers, traders, retailers and wholesalers as millions of people mostly women and children across the country were suffering terribly due to severe malnutrition.Speaking at an Orientation Session organized jointly by KCCI, TRDP, Food Fortification Program and UK Aid, CEO TRDP said that there was absolutely no harm in fortifying flour, oil and ghee with Vitamin A, Vitamin D and other minerals which are essential for a healthy human body therefore, the importance of fortification must be promoted amongst people from all walks of life with a view to ensure a healthy society.The session was attended by President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Vice President KCCI Asif Sheikh Javaid, Former Vice President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Managing Committee Members, representatives from Sindh Food Authority, and others.CEO TRDP, while referring to numerous activities undertaken by TRDP in association with Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh and UK Aid, informed that during all these activities and awareness sessions, the participants were sensitized about the addition of vitamins, iron and other minerals in flour, ghee and oil to provide nutrient filled food for children and women to overcome the malnutrition and stunted growth. “Addition of vitamins and other minerals to these household commodities would lead to disease prevention, boost immunity and improve cognitive development and productivity”, he added.He said that the around 1 million households across Sindh province have benefitted from TRDP and they have established a total of 22 offices all over Sindh with a staff of around 1400 while a total of 35,000 women have been trained so far in the agriculture and garments sectors.He suggested that TRDP can collaborate with Karachi Chamber in the field of Research & Development and both institutions can carry out studies, perform surveys and identify issues.Underscoring the need for devising legislations about fortifications of flour, ghee & oil, he said that the government was currently working on the said legislations and draft has been prepared but it was going to take a lot of time as it was at initial stages.In response, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, while agreeing to CEO TRDP’s suggestion, advised to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between KCCI and TRDP so that both institutions could jointly carry out awareness campaigns in the larger interest of the country, particularly Sindh province.President KCCI pointed out that Pakistan has a high burden of malnutrition and the country is facing health and economic consequences due to under-nutrition. The National Nutrition Survey of Pakistan found that majority of children and women of reproductive age suffer from multiple micronutrient deficiencies which was a very serious issue that requires special attention.Referring to Prime Minister’s first speech to the nation, Junaid Makda said that PM Imran Khan quoted a report of the UNDP which reads that Pakistan is amongst the top five countries in the world where children die because of malnutrition. “It is really unfortunate that 45 percent of Pakistani children, that is, almost every other child, suffer from this disease”, he added.Stunting has a strong link with economic well-being and every 10 percent increase in per capita income results in decline of stunting by 3.2 percent, he said, adding that Pakistan loses $7.6 billion or three percent of its GDP each year due to malnutrition.Referring to KCCI’s liaison with Sind Food Authority, he said that the Karachi Chamber, being a socially responsible citizen, would be more than happy to work in collaboration with TRDP and extend full support to all its endeavors in Sindh.

PM Imran Khan meet’s MOL Group Vice President Middle East,Africa and Pakistan

img-20190115-wa0107

Islamabad(Cliff News)Ali Murtaza Abbas, MOL Group Regional Vice President for Middle East, Africa & Pakistan recently called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan here in Islamabad at his residence in Bani Gala.Mr. Abbas gave a short overview of the group’s operation worldwide and briefed about the operations carried out by MOL Pakistan Oil & Gas Company, since its inception in Pakistan in 1999. Mr. Abbas informed the PM that MOL Pakistan is currently enjoying the status of thelargest producer of LPG and the second largest producer of condensate/crude in Pakistan.The PM was also briefed in detail about the operations carried out in TAL Block of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by MOL Pakistan which are contributing towards meeting the energy challenges in Pakistan. Mr.Abbas informed the PM that the TAL Joint Venture Partners have invested over USD 2 billion and look forward to making healthy contributions towards the energy needs of the country.Sharing the success stories, Mr. Abbas informed the PM that MOL Pakistan has hit 9 consecutive discoveries in the operated blocks namely Manzalai, Makori, Mamikhel, Maramzai, Makori East, Tolanj, Mardankhel-1, Makori Deep-1 & Tolanj West and 4 discoveries in non-operated blocks namely Halini , Ghauri, Kalabagh & Halini Deep.Mr. Abbas gave a detailed briefing to the PM regarding the CSR initiatives carried by MOL Pakistan in liaison with local authorities in various regions of KP including Karak, Hangu and Kohat which are effectively helping local communities to enjoy a better life.Mr. Abbas expressed his gratitude that the government was providing maximum support to the oil & gas sector which has much more potential to grow in coming years. He said that MOL Group is looking forward to strengthening Pakistan’s energy sector further and promoting public private partnerships. Mr. Abbas further informed the PM that the MOL Group EVP Upstream, Dr. Berislav Gaso will be visiting Pakistan to meet the PM on building further business avenues in the country.Mr. Abbas showed deep interest in expanding group’s operations in Pakistan by acquiring additional blocks which will not only bring further investment but will also be beneficial for local economy and employment.PM’s special assistant Naeem ul Haq also attended the meeting.

 

Muhammad Aurangzeb elected Chairman of Pakistan Banks Association

img-20190116-wa0002

Karachi(Cliff News)On completion of the term of Mr. Aftab Manzoor, as Chairman, Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO, Habib Bank Limited, has been unanimously elected as Chairman PBA. The PBA elections were held in Karachi on January 14, 2019.Muhammad Aurangzeb joined HBL on April 30, 2018 as the President & CEO. He has an overall international banking experience of over 30 years, working at senior management positions with leading global banks.The Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) represents the Financial Institutions regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan and its main objective is to coordinate the efforts of the banking industry and to share a common vision of progress and development with its members.

img-20190116-wa0001

 

 

Badiuddin Akber takes charge as CEO of CDC

badaruddin Akber CDC-urdu-1

Karachi(Cliff News)Mr. Badiuddin Akber recently took charge as the CEO of the Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC) subsequent to formal approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.This key appointment has been made while taking into consideration that CDC is a key capital market institution and considered as the Infrastructure Backbone of the Pakistan Capital Market and is credited for the revolution that has brought transparency, credibility and efficiency to the market mechanisms. As the only securities depository in the country, CDC is entrusted with maintaining book-entry securities worth trillions of rupees and manages a diversified portfolio of businesses including Trustee and Custodial Services and Share Registrar Services.This is the third time in a row that the CEO of CDC has been selected from within its senior management. It is a testament of the company’s effective succession planning and also an expression of continued trust by the board of directors of the company on the senior management.Mr. Akber has 20 years of senior management experience in the fields of finance and operations in renowned conglomerates in Pakistan including Head of Finance and Company Secretary positions. He has also served as CFO and Chief Operating Officer at the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited. At CDC, he was previously serving as the Chief Compliance and Risk Officer and was also the nominated Chairman of the Oversight Committee formed by the SECP under Joint Inspection Regulations, 2015.He has extensive expertise in Financial Management, Clearing & Settlement, Risk Management, Operations, Product Development and Project Management in the Pakistan Capital Market. He has played a key role in the implementation of various significant products, services and reform measures which include Revamping of Capital Gain Tax Regime, Unique Identification Number (UIN), Institutions’ Risk Management System, Straight Through Processing of Market Settlements, and in the introduction of Leverage Products such as Margin Financing, Margin Trading and Securities Lending & Borrowing.He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan (FCMA). He also holds ACMA-CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountants) qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA – UK) and qualification of Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA – Ontario, Canada).