Friday, February 29, 2008

Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) join hands with academia to conduct the Executive Opinion Survey 2008 of the World Economic Forum

The Competitiveness Support Fund engages the students of the Economics Department at the Quaid-e-Azam University with the aim of creating a network between the leading business community and the future business leaders.

The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) as the partner institution of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is carrying out the Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) 2008 in Pakistan for the Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009.

The Competitiveness Support Fund, a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, has proposed a unique strategy to the World Economic Forum to engage the academia in conducting the Executive Opinion Surveys. The CSF strategy has also been appreciated by the Harvard University and is being considered to being one of the most innovative strategies from any of the 153 World Economic Forum partner institutes.
The CSF held an interactive session with the Economics Department at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad to engage the faculty members and the students for this exercise. The meeting included discussions on the Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008, which is published each year by the WEF and benchmarks 131 economies over the 12 competitive pillars.

Amir Jahangir from the Competitiveness Support Fund informed the students and the faculty members that Pakistan ranked 92 out of 131 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index. He further elaborated the issues concerning Pakistan’s competitiveness. CSF has adopted the approach of engaging the academia in developing and implementing the EOS strategy, which will be creating platforms for industry-academia linkage.

CSF team, which also included Ms. Hina Akhtar, Communications Specialist, floated questions across the discussion room to the students and the faculty members creating an interactive session on the importance of positioning Pakistan on a global footing. Students were asked to describe their future vision and their potential impact on business community to which most of them had set plans of working in prestigious multinationals, international development agencies and research positions – all acknowledging the potential impact they would be having if they had stronger networks with the business community as well as a deeper insight into the issues of competitiveness.

CSF shared that the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) has been the World Economic Forum’s flagship publication since 1979 and is widely recognized as the world’s leading cross-country comparator of factors affecting economic competitiveness and growth. The Executive Opinion Survey is a major component of The Global Competitiveness Report and provides the key component that turns the Report into a representative annual measure of a country’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth. Top level business executives operating in Pakistan will be surveyed to capture their opinion on the business environment in which they operate.

CSF further added that by engaging the academia, CSF aims at building the capacity of the future business leaders who will soon be joining the business community and help create a group of business leaders who would be sensitized on the importance of Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), The GCR 12 pillars and the role of business community in measuring the GCI. Also having the opportunity to interact with the leading CEOs of the country, it would enable the academia to create a network with the business community.

Dr. Muhammad Ishfaq, Assistant Professor Quaid-e-Azam University and one of the faculty members leading the program at the Economics Department described this as an important initiative to promote competitiveness relevant issues as research topics at the higher academic level.

CSF will be interacting with other leading economic, business and journalism schools across Pakistan to create a network of more then 100 students and faculty members to assist CSF in carrying out the Executive Opinion Survey from January to May 2008.

The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) is a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan and was established as an independent body to reposition Pakistan’s economy on a more competitive global footing.
Support for CSF is part of the $ 1.5 billion in aid that the US Government is providing to Pakistan over five years to improve economic growth, education, health and governance.

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