The speakers at a conference have called for empowering the private sector for high economic growth and job creation through improvement in ease of doing-business and industry-friendly policies in the country.

The conference was organized by the All Pakistan Business Forum on the theme of ‘Way to a Prosperous Pakistan’ at a local hotel here on Thursday.

Besides APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi, President Syed Maaz Mahmood and general secretary Khurram Niaz, the key speakers included Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister Fawad Chaudry, Chairperson Commonwealth for Women Ms. Shandana Gulzar, World Bank Country Director Illangovan Potchamotho, EU ambassador Androula Kaminara, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan Stefano Pontecorvo, Ambassador of Denmark Rolf Michael Hay Pereira Holmboe, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics VC Dr. Nadeem ul Haque and NUST GTTN Amer Hashmi etc.

The speakers appreciated Pakistan’s better ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index but stressed the need for paying more attention to that area. They also suggested that business-friendly loans at low interest rate are critical to improve the ease of doing-business policy.

The APBF moot on ‘Way to a Prosperous Pakistan–Sectors that require Focus & Implementation’ had arranged four major sessions for in-depth panel discussions, including “Economy & Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan”; “Technical Education and Skills Development” ; “Entrepreneurship & Women Development and Role of women in Economy” and “Climate Change, Water Resources and Renewable Energy”.

The panelists discussed the challenges in terms of doing business in Pakistan and pondered as to how to build confidence of the local investors and attract more FDI in the country. The speakers said that this conference has enclosed the opportunities and challenges faced by both local and foreign businessmen with respect to Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan.

“This conference aims to attract Joint Ventures and Foreign Direct Investments to make local business competitive. Moreover, it intends to positively portray Pakistan as a destination of choice for global investors and will highlight the potential and promising sectors of Pakistan’s economy.”

The speakers said that some important areas that require attention to steer the wheel in the right direction, including entrepreneurship opportunities for young professionals, Role of Women in building the economy, Implementation of ILO conventions and relevant regulations to get the best of GSP Plus benefits and for its continuation.

All participants of the conference called for further strengthening the business-friendly environment of Pakistan, promoting ease of doing-business, industrial development, entrepreneurship & women development and vocational training to boost economic growth by working hand in hand with the foreign diplomatic missions, relevant government departments and the business community of Pakistan.

The APBF one-day conference was largely addressed and participated by the ministers, ambassadors, world renowned experts in finance and economy, senior government officials, academia, CEO’s of multinational and nationals companies and representatives of Pakistan’s major chambers and trade & industrial associations.