Wednesday, March 12, 2008

World Economic Forum nominates Hina Rabbani Khar as the Young Global Leader for 2008

245 leading executives, public figures and intellectuals - all aged 40 or younger - were chosen from around the world
The World Economic Forum announced today the list of Young Global Leaders for 2008. This honor is bestowed each year by the World Economic Forum to recognize and acknowledge the top 200-300 young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. The Young Global Leaders for 2008 include 121 business leaders, as well as leaders from government, academia, the media and society at large from 65 countries. The new class represents all regions, including East Asia (64), Europe (58), the Middle East and North Africa (12), North America (45), South Asia (24), sub-Saharan Africa (21) and Latin America (21).

This year, Pakistan has received a remarkable recognition, Hina Rabbani Khar, the former Minister of State for Economic Affairs has been honored as the Young Global Leader for 2008. Ms. Munizae Jahangir, a Film Producer and Media Professional has also been bestowed with this honor.

Selection of Hina Rabbani Khar was made possible for her work in providing leadership role model for the Pakistani youth. Ms. Khar was also instrumental in promoting the competitiveness agenda in the country. She has been working closely with the Competitiveness Support Fund to improve Pakistan's global competitiveness. Ms. Khar has also represented Pakistan at various international forums, including the World Economic Forum's annual conference at Davos.
The Competitiveness Support Fund is the country partner institute of the World Economic Forum. CSF is a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan.

"The World Economic Forum is a true multistakeholder community of global decision-makers. We need the Young Global Leaders to be a voice for the future in the global thought process and as a catalyst for initiatives in the global public interest," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2008 were chosen by a selection committee of 31 eminent international media leaders, including Thomas H. Glocer, Chief Executive Officer, Reuters, United Kingdom; Arthur Sulzberger, Chairman and Publisher, The New York Times, USA; Robert Thomson, Publisher, Dow Jones & Company and The Wall Street Journal, USA; and Hisashi Hieda, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fuji Television Network, Japan. The selection committee is chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The 2008 Young Global Leaders (YGL) nominated represented over 65 countries and included Vikram Akula, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, SKS Microfinance, India; Steffi Graf, Founder and Chairperson, 'Children for Tomorrow', Germany; Wadah Khanfar, Director-General, Al Jazeera Satellite Network, Qatar; Mugo Kibati, Group Chief Executive Officer, East African Cables, Kenya; Shakira Mebarak, Singer and Manager, Pies Descalzos Foundation, Colombia; and Michelle Peluso, Chief Executive Officer,, USA; among others.
"All Young Global Leaders have been blessed with success in their fields and great responsibility at a very young age. The Forum of Young Global Leaders provides us with a broader perspective of life's problems at a macro level. The Forum challenges us to think about how we can give back to society and provides us a platform to reach the World Economic Forum's constituencies - providing precious access to global leaders who themselves are seeking ways to help fix our world," said Shai Agassi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Better, USA.

"It is our belief that this community of committed individuals can actually change the status quo. They are not only a preview of what effective, collaborative leadership in the 21st century might look like, they are actually putting it into practice today," said David Aikman, Senior Director and Head of The Forum of Young Global Leaders. "It is our privilege to work with such inspirational leaders and to bring them together in a global network that builds their insights and skills even further, providing them with a global platform to tackle the key challenges of our generation."

Established in 2004 by Professor Klaus Schwab, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a unique, multistakeholder community of the world's most extraordinary young leaders, who dedicate a part of their time to jointly addressing global challenges and who are committed to devoting some of their knowledge and energy to collectively work towards a better future. As part of their engagement, the Young Global Leaders give their time to task forces to initiate, develop and drive innovative solutions on important, globally-oriented issues, including health, education, the environment, global governance and security, and development and poverty.

Support for CSF is part of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. Government is providing to Pakistan over five years to improve economic growth, education, health, and governance.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Pakistan to focus more on women empowerment to improve economic growth

The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) identifies importance of future contributions by women towards economic growth in Pakistan on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The International Women's Day, 8th of March, has been observed since the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, Pakistan has been one of the front runners on the political empowerment, where it had a woman prime minister and increased participation of women in the political platforms, The International Women’s Day also reminds us that Pakistan has still a lot to do so the school girls are welcomed into universities, women can work and have a family and provide women with real choices. The tone and nature of International Women’s Day has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a collaborated work force aiming at a more optimistic future.

The International Women’s Day is marked across the world, where women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day. On this occasion, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace, development and economic empowerment.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2007, published each year by the World Economic Forum, the social and economic empowerment of Pakistani women is still very low and their struggle is still on.

Pakistan is ranked at 126 among 128 countries in 2007 in the Global Gender Gap Report (GGG). This report provides a comprehensible framework for assessing and comparing global gender gaps and by revealing those countries that, regardless of the overall level of resources available, are role models in dividing these resources equitably between women and men.

The Global Gender gap Report 2007 also identifies a gap in the overall participation of the women to be integrated into the workforce in Pakistan; Although the enrolment ratio between female and male at the primary education level is 59% (females) to 77% (males) only 2% of the females reach the position of senior officials, legislators and managers, as compared to 98% of the males in similar conditions.
The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, is the partner institution of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Pakistan and is working with the WEF to assist the Government of Pakistan as a catalyst for greater awareness as well as greater exchange between policy-makers.

Although Pakistan is doing well on the Political Empowerment of Women, where it stands at 43 among 128 countries, the indicators on Economic Participation and Opportunity for Women are still weak, as Pakistan stands at 126. Also on the Labour Force Participation of Women, Pakistan ranked at 121 among 128 countries.

On the social indicators, Pakistan ranks on 123 on the Educational Attainment pillar and 121 on the Health and Survival pillar among the 128 countries. The Report also indicates that the overall population sex ration (male/female) in Pakistan is almost 1.05, with an overall population growth at 2.41%.

Arthur Bayhan, Chief Executive Officer of CSF, reinforced the importance of the available data on Gender. He said that “Pakistan needs to update and timely submit the data on issues relevant to the economic empowerment of gender to the international sources. It is crucial for Pakistan to reflect achievements made in the last few years, to improve Pakistan’s ranking on the Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum”.
Bayhan further added that the Competitiveness Support Fund is in the process of preparing the State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008. CSF will include a special section on gender, trade and competitiveness in the State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008. The Report will identify the gender gaps affecting competitiveness in Pakistan, especially the areas identified by the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008 and the Global Gender Gap Report 2007.

The State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008 will provide a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities. It will also provide explanations for policy-makers and business leaders in seeking solutions for talent shortages and how to close gender gaps and leverage the talents of both women and men.

CSF supports Pakistan’s goal of a more competitive economy by providing input into policy decisions, working to improve regulatory and administrative frameworks and enhancing public-private partnerships within the country. CSF also provides technical assistance and co-financing for initiatives related to entrepreneurship, business incubators and private-sector-led initiatives with research institutes and universities that contribute to creating a knowledge-driven economy.

Support for CSF is part of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. Government is providing to Pakistan over five years to improve economic growth, education, health, and governance.

Monday, March 3, 2008


The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008 (TTCR) highlights the competitive advantages and disadvantages in Pakistan’s tourism and reinforces the importance of Environmental Sustainability.

The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008 provides a cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism, providing useful comparative information for making business decisions and additional value to governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments.

Pakistan has been ranked at 103 out of 124 countries around the world, underlining a frail Travel & Tourism regulatory framework, low prioritization of the industry by the Government, low effectiveness of marketing and branding and a constricted tourism perception. Some of the other competitive disadvantages for Pakistan include the poor tourism infrastructure such as provision of competitive hotel rooms (110), available ATMs accepting Visa cards (110), the national and cultural resources (96) and the prevailing security situation (106) among 124 countries.

Despite showing many competitive disadvantages in the Travel & Tourism industry, Pakistan ranked well on the air (40) and ground transport infrastructure (39). The price competitiveness in the industry maintains a very viable position based on the low fuel price level (23), purchasing power parity (25) and the extent and effect of taxation (33). Pakistan will however, like many other countries need to focus on the sustainability of its natural environment.The data for Pakistan has been prepared based on a combination of data from publicly available sources, international Travel & Tourism institutions and experts as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, which was carried out last year by the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) in Pakistan.

Arthur Bayhan, Chief Executive Officer of the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) shared that CSF, being the partner institution of the WEF in Pakistan, is deeply engaged in the issues of competitiveness and is working with both the public and private sector as well as the academia in Pakistan to improve the global ranking of the country. Bayhan shared that the Executive Opinion Survey is a major component of The Global Competitiveness Report, which is published each year by the WEF. The survey provides the key component that turns the report into a representative annual measure of Pakistan’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth. Top level business executives operating in Pakistan are surveyed to capture their opinion on the business environment in which they operate.

CSF further shared that it is currently working on preparing the second State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report for 2007-08. This report is a deeper reflection of the Global Competitiveness Report and will provide a snapshot of the strengths and weaknesses along with key positive and negative trends in the national economy, as well as regional competitiveness trends in each of the provinces.

The report elaborates that Switzerland, Austria and Germany have been ranked as the most attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry. The report helps Pakistan in measuring the factors that contribute to developing the T&T industry and also demonstrates the importance of supportive business and regulatory frameworks, coupled with world-class transport and tourism infrastructure with a strong focus on developing human and natural resources.

The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) measures the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the T&T sector in the various countries. It is composed of 14 pillars of travel and tourism competitiveness: 1. Policy rules and regulations, 2. Environmental sustainability, 3. Safety & Security, 4. Health & hygiene, 5. Prioritization of travel and tourism, 6. Air transport infrastructure, 7. Ground transport infrastructure, 8. Tourism infrastructure, 9. Information and Communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, 10. Price competitiveness, 11. Human capital, 12. Affinity for travel and tourism, 13. Natural resources, 14. Cultural resources

The Competitiveness Support Fund is a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan 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.