Karachi, May 02, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) hosted a working breakfast for its Private Sector Advisory Council on Investment Climate (ACIC), the team from World Bank, and representatives from the Federal Board of Investment (BoI). The event was titled “Vision for Ease of Doing Business in Sindh”. At the occasion, Chairperson SBI Ms Naheed Memon presided over the meeting, and shared with the attendees the business reforms that are being put into place by the Government of Sindh (GoS) at an accelerated pace. “We are now in the process of verifying these reforms.
The idea is to increasing the number of successful entrepreneurs,” said Ms Memon at the occasion. She lauded the business acumen and success of the private sector businesses, and touched upon the importance of public-private partnerships and consortiums to further improve the business climate of Sindh. “Despite the challenges, Pakistan’s private sector business has done very well,” she said.
These reforms have been initiated in the province of Sindh at an accelerated pace during the first 100 Day Sprint of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms. At the occasion, SBI launched the first facilitation centre for ease of doing business, under the umbrella of Sindh Investment Climate Improvement Cell (SICIC). Ms Memon shared her vision for the way forward at the occasion, and mentioned important future goals that have been envisaged. These included the setting up SBI offices in other cities also besides Karachi, facilitation centres in all relevant areas and offices to help ease the processes of businesses for people, and ensuring that women are included as equal partners in doing business and investment for which they will be facilitated.
The event included a two-way dialogue in during which participants, including representatives of the private sector who are members of the ACIC, shared their thoughts and suggestions. Mr. Asad Ali Shah, Senior Partner Delloitte, emphasized on the importance of working on an e-government. Ms Memon emphasized the pushing for automation and online portals to improve the investment climate, thus making the processes of doing business quicker and easier.
Echoing the sentiment of the business community, Mr Abdul Rasheed Jan Mohammad, CEO Westbury Group of Companies, appreciated the agenda and the efforts being made by SBI. He cited the example of K-Electric, and recent efforts made to make acquiring electricity easier for businesses. “We have a K-Electric facilitation desk in BQATI. They listen to your complaints and attend promptly. Now, new connections take place in six months instead of two years. Despite so many obstacles in terms of infrastructure, business is still growing and its volume is still increasing. Even the infrastructure is improving,” he said.
ACIC members present included former vice president ABAD Mr Hassan Bakshi, Chief Executive Arif Habib Ltd Mr Shahid Ali Habib, Chairman Cotton Web Pvt Ltd Mr Ibrahim Shamsi, Executive Director Novatex Ltd Mr Rizwan Diwan, and Group Director, Best Board Industries, Mr Shahzad Sabir.
Representing the BoI was Ms. Fareena Mazhar, Additional Secretary and Executive Director General. The World Bank team present at the occasion included Mr Albert Nogues , Operations Analyst, Mr Amjad Bashir, Senior Economist, and Mr. Herve Kaddoura, Private Sector Specialist. Mr Kaddoura suggested that there needs to be a holistic way to look at business reforms, and there has to be emphasis on how to align the economic outcome with the objective for participation. Mr Bashir emphasized the importance of a digital strategy to improve the investment climate. Participants agreed that bridging the gaps between the public and private sector will help accelerate improve the business climate in Sindh.
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