Friday, April 4, 2008

USAID-CSF Seminar to Encourage Female Input in Pakistani Economy

The United States Agency for International Development funded Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) held a seminar here to encourage greater female participation in the Pakistani economy by involving students of the Lahore College for Women University in the 2008 World Economic Forum (WEF) Executive Opinion Survey.

“This initiative promotes competitiveness as a research topic and forges linkages between academia and the business,” said Professor Riffat Saqlain, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at the Lahore College for Women University. “More importantly, it bridges business’ gender gap by including Pakistani female students in the process.”

As a partner institution of the World Economic Forum (WEF), CSF is carrying out the 2008 Executive Opinion Survey to rank Pakistan’s economy for the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009. The survey will cover top-level business executives operating in Pakistan to capture their opinion on local business environment.

The CSF is a $11.8 million joint initiative of USAID and the Ministry of Finance. The program will be interacting with other leading economic, business and journalism schools across Pakistan to create a network of more than 100 students and faculty members to carry out the Executive Opinion Survey from January to May 2008. This initiative also creates competitiveness clubs and opportunities for academia to initiate research papers on competitiveness issues.

Other speakers of the seminar included Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Competitiveness, Rehmat Ullah Javed; Chairperson Women Entrepreneur Committee FPCCI, Sheila Malik; and Communications Manager CSF, Amir Jahangir.

Support for CSF is part of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. Government is providing, through USAID, to Pakistan over five years to improve economic growth, education, health, and governance and to reconstruct areas affected by the October 2005 earthquake.

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