Themed ‘Strategic Business Leaders | Capacity & Character’, the third edition of the annual ‘ACCA Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019 (PLC 2019) concluded with a high profile event in Islamabad. The agenda at the PLC 2019 examined a wide range of key topics from institutional reforms to global competitiveness to the digital revolution.

Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs attended this multi-stakeholder conference in Islamabad as the Chief Guest and in his speech, he shared the government’s long-term vision for country’s economic growth and emphasized on the role of professional accountants in promoting ethics and professionalism.

Andleeb Abbas, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs also delivered a keynote address on Pakistan’s economic prospects and the role of diplomacy in improving Pakistan’s international trade.

The British High Commission Islamabad has also joined ACCA as a co-organiser for this conference and was represented by senior diplomats and staff who also shared their views and insights on the discussion topics.

The conference also included a dedicated session for the leading policy makers and business operators to debate the implications of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Hassan Daud Butt, Project Director – CPEC, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms delivered an exclusive presentation explaining the CPEC projects and their impact on country’s economy.

Haroon Sharif, Chairman, Board of Investment gave an overview of the government’s efforts in attracting and facilitating foreign investors and shared BOI’s vision for making Pakistan a hub of economic activity in the region.

Speaking of the conference, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan said:  “With an evolving business environment bringing a range of new challenges, the primary theme of this year’s PLC was ‘Strategic business leaders – capacity and character’ to rethink and redefine the role of business leaders of the future.

The landscape for business and professional accountants is being reshaped by a host of current and emerging drivers – in business, politics, the economy, science and technology and society’s expectations of business.

And for them to be ready to fully to embrace new opportunities will demand new skills, such as strategic vision, commercial acumen, technical knowledge, and ethical judgment. At ACCA we are ready to take the challenge on board”

PLC 2019 received an overwhelming response from the business community and all the events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad were attended by a large number of business leaders and professionals who had the chance to listen to key insights from global experts in FinTech, taxation, global trade and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The global President of ACCA, Mr. Robert Stenhouse also delivered a keynote speech and helped the audiences with preparing for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Earlier, ACCA hosted its Lahore edition of PLC 2019 with a well-attended event featuring top business and education leaders from the region. Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman, Nishat Group (Pakistan) and Punjab’s Finance Minister, Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakht delivered the Chief Guest addresses highlighting the country’s economic challenges and their solutions.

The Honourable Finance Minister of Punjab also gave an overview of Punjab Government’s economic priorities and the plans to reduce government subsidies and improve efficiencies. Featuring prominent businessmen, seasoned bureaucrats, senior diplomats, influential lawmakers and renowned thought leaders, the panel discussions at the event revealed that there is a strong need to rethink the role and scope of business leaders to ensure the ability of local businesses to compete globally.

Abid Qayyum Sulehri, Executive Director, SDPI, Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Territory Senior Partner, AF Ferguson & Co., Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Founder, Akhuwat, Salim Ghauri, CEO, NetSolTechnologies, Yusuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite – National Technology Fund, Ayla Majid, Council Member, ACCA and Almas Hyder, President, LCCI were among the many prominent thought leaders who shared their thoughts at the conference.

The participants agreed that Pakistan is now seen by many as a place where business can enjoy a stable legal framework and have access to very reliable and skillful professionals with a strong work ethic.

It is now important to make an effort to showcase Pakistan’s true potential globally and make efforts to improve ease of doing business to attract foreign investment and to fully take advantage of opportunities provided by the innovative technologies and unconventional business models.

Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) is an annual 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 with an aim to shape the future of society and economy in Pakistan. Started in 2017, PLC 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 was also complemented by three New Member Ceremonies celebrating the achievement of young ACCA affiliates who have attained membership in the year 2018-19.

The Chief Guests at the New Member Ceremonies were Imran Ismail, Governor Sindh in Karachi, Senator Walid Iqbal in Lahore and Shafqat Mehmood, Federal Minister for Education & Professional Training and National History & Literary Heritage in Islamabad. The ceremonies were also attended by prominent corporate leaders providing a networking and learning opportunity for young ACCA members and students.

Highlights of the event can be found on ACCA’s website.