14th CEO Summit Asia 2017 brings together entrepreneurs from across Pakistan

CEO Club Pakistan held the 14th CEO Summit conference themed “Reshaping the Future: Build Greater Pakistan,” at a local hotel here on Thursday. Notable speakers from all over the country participated in the conference and shared their suggestions and apprehensions regarding the direction of the country’s economy.

CEO Club Pakistan Founder and President Ijaz Nasir delivered the welcome address followed by keynote speeches by Kansai Paint (Pvt.) Ltd. Chairman Agha Zafar Abbas, Descon Oxychem Ltd. CEO Aamir Niazi, and Hashoo Group Chief Marketing Officer Lashley Anne Pulsipher. Provincial Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghaus also appeared at the conference and spoke about the steps and successes Punjab has achieved over the past three years. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal took the stage to speak about the “Myths and Reality” of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He went on elaborating in length how CPEC was not against the private sector. He drew an analogy while explaining brand management: “When you buy a medicine from a pharmacy, the cover shows the benefits of the medicine in bold, colourful letters on the packaging and the side effects are shown in an almost unreadable format on the small piece of paper stuck inside the pack. When we do the brand management of the country, we reverse this and paint the negatives in bold colours on the outside hiding the benefits. How would anyone expect to improve the country’s image with this strategy?”

He said that through CPEC, the private sector will not only benefit from the infrastructure of the project but also share a part in the $1.2 trillion imports of China. He took a jab at the political party protesting and calling for ‘change’ and said, “Those who prefer to see the glass as half full will see it so while the pessimists will only criticise and complain.” He concluded this part of his speech with a couplet from Nasir Kazmi, “Dam ghuta jaata hai afsurda dili se yaaro, Koi afvah hi phailao ke kuch raat kate.”

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A panel discussion was also held followed by a Q&A session. The panellists included EFU Insurance Company Ltd Chairman Saifuddin Zoomkawala, Forman Christian College Rector Dr James Tebbe, GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan Ltd. CEO Sohail Ahmed Matin, and H Sheikh Noor Ud Din & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. CEO Farhan Sarwar among others. The event also included the launch of the book ‘100 Performing CEOs and Companies of Pakistan 2017’. Mementoes were also distributed among the speakers and notable guests as part of the conference.

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Syeda Masooma
Writer is business reporter at Pakistan Today
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