Friday, April 4, 2008


The Competitiveness Support Fund engages the students of IQRA University, Karachi 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. By doing so, 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 Global Competitiveness Report’s 12 pillars and the role of business community in measuring the GCI. Through this exercise, the students will also be provided with the opportunity to interact with the leading CEOs of the country and create industry academia linkage across Pakistan.
As part of the strategy and implementation process, CSF today held an interactive session at IQRA University, Karachi 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 World Economic Forum and benchmarks 131 economies over the 12 competitiveness 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 and elaborated the issues concerning Pakistan’s competitiveness. Jahangir further added that the CSF strategy has also been appreciated by the Harvard Business School and is being considered to being one of the most innovative strategies from any of the 153 World Economic Forum partner institutes. CSF also shared that once this exercise is successfully completed, it carries the potential of being implemented across the other WEF partner institutes in 130 member countries, which will prove to be a milestone for Pakistan’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

CSF shared that the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) has been the World Economic Forum’s flagship publication 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.

Fahd Ali Raza, Head of Department for Business Administration at IQRA University and one of the faculty members leading the student group for this very prestigious exercise described this as an important initiative to promote competitiveness relevant issues as research topics at the higher academic level. He appreciated CSF for developing such an innovative strategy with a focus on academia in Pakistan and stated that this would also help the academia in developing stronger networks with the business sector and bridge the gaps.

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.
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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