Only 5pc Pak students have access to higher education’

Karachi: Corporate leaders of South Asia have said that Pakistan and India should remove nontariff barriers in order to increase trade between the two countries, which will enable their economies to flourish.

Top marketing leaders and chief operating officers of several multinational companies from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka gathered at a local hotel for a two-day conference titled South Asia Strategic Leadership Summit.

Addressing the broader theme of “Collaborating for Change”, the event was organised by Nutshell Forum along with India and Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Shaukat Tarin, adviser to the chairman Silk Bank Limited and former federal minister for finance and economic affairs, said Pakistan is experiencing the first successful transition – in recent history – from one democratic government to another. However, he said, Pakistan has failed to exploit its growth potential in the last two decades. Pakistan has lost its ranking in the fields of health and education systems worldwide, he added.

Tarin said only five percent students in the country have access to higher education, while two million children do not go to schools. “Pakistan is spending 1.8 percent of its GDP on education, while India spends 4.1 percent and Bangladesh spends 2.4 percent of its GDP on education,” he said.

According to Tarin, Pakistan imparts technical education to just 150,000 students per annum whereas the requirement is for many more.

Tarin said that in order to bring change, civil society, industry and the government should collaborate with each other.

Dr Attaur Rahman, former federal minister for science and technology, highlighted innovations in the field of science and technology and claimed that the number of PhD holders in Pakistan has increased in the last eight years.

Despite the technological advancement growth of business in the world is linked with the growth of people employees as qualitative and brand manpower always leads to any organization towards success.

“As a strategic business partner we always strive to attract, retain and develop talent, champion change and manage performance to achieve our goals. Besides our quest is to facilitate a culture that enables the realisation of human potential & leadership,” said P. Dwarakanath, Director Group Human Capital, Max India Limited.

According to him, the elements that make up the brand arrow are the individual building blocks that contribute to the brand essence. Further elaborating the importance of individuals and leadership in any organisation he also quoted saying of Alfred Sloan which says” take away my money, take away my factories, warehouses and land. But leave my people and within 5 years I will have it all back.”

Richard Lee, Director HCM and HCM Cloud Solution, Oracle Asia pacific, said that the IT and technology have facilitated the people in every walk of life helping in succession planning, time and labour scheduling, goal management, social and collaboration tools, self-service, recruiting operational analytics and much more.

Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, CEO of Nutshell Forum, gave the welcome address while other speakers included SM Muneer, president of India-Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and vice chairman of MCB Bank Limited;
Saadia Naved, vice president of Management Association of Pakistan; Rajeev Dubey, president of Employers Federation of India; Dr Zeelaf B Munir, chairperson of the executive management board English Biscuit Manufacturers Pvt Limited as well as Manjeet Kripalani, founder of Gateway House, Indian Council for Global Relations.

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