ACCA Pakistan Continues the Momentum at Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2022

 ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Pakistan, in collaboration with SEED Ventures, closed a successful series of its flagship conferences Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC 2022) in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore respectively.

The fourth edition of PLC centered on the theme “Rethinking our world: Sustainable growth for Pakistan” and brought together leading policymakers, thought leaders, corporate influencers, academia, and business operators for a dialogue centered on the power of digital, sustainability/ESG, ethics, and future-ready workforce.

In Karachi, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar; Chairperson PSX and PICG, and Nadeem Hussain; Founder Planet N Group of Companies, and Chairman Pakistan Fintech Network attended the event as Guest of Honour.

Speaking on the topic of ‘Accelerated Financial Inclusion’, Nadeem said, “Digitalization plays an imperative role in enhancing social mobility and these shifts can not be made without understanding the customer need and creating the simplest customer journey.”

Muhammad Ali Tabba, CEO Lucky Cement Limited as the Guest of Honour shared his thoughts on ‘Opportunity and Size – Fast Tracking the investment landscape’ saying, “The distribution of energy, its mix and privatization is imperative for our growth agenda.”

He added, “Moreover, enabling its manufacture in Pakistan’s environment will help import substitution fueling employment, self-reliance, and sustainable economic growth driven by exports.”

As a part of her keynote address, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson PSX, and PICG spoke on ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, while Re-calibrating our Practices for Sustainable Growth’.

She said, “As Pakistan sets to become part of global economies through BRI / CPEC and export-focused strategy – relevance of diversity, equity and inclusion is extremely critical for all stakeholders to achieve the recognized global standards of performance and excellence.”

The first session, titled, ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Re-calibrating Practices for Sustainable Growth’ featured Ahsan Jamil, CEO, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance; Farrukh H. Khan, Managing Director & CEO, Pakistan Stock Exchange; Maheen Rahman, CEO – InfraZamin Pakistan; Mohammad Shoaib, CEO – Al Meezan Investment Management Limited; Navid Fazil, CEO – Interloop Limited moderated by Sadia Dada, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, K-Electric.

The second session was led by a keynote address from Sadia Khan, Commissioner – Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan who shared her thoughts on the topic ‘Ethics, Technology, ESG – Accelerating national economic transformation’.

She said, “Ethical behavior is at the core of good governance and sustainability. The importance of ESG and sustainability has been rightfully amplified in a short time with increased focus in the areas of financial reporting, investing, and business practices.”

Adding on to the guidelines issued by SECP on CSR, she added, “We introduce voluntary guides to enable good business practices that add value to the community”.

The talk was moderated by Hena Sadiq, Partner Audit and Assurance – Yousuf Adil Chartered Accountants; Rana Nadeem, Partner – KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co.; Saquib Ahmad, Country Managing Director – SAP Pakistan; Shahzad Shahid, Group CEO – TPS Online; Zeeshan Shahid, Director Risk and Compliance – BYKEA

Sharif Tabbani, Owner & Principal, Tabbani’s School of Accountancy also joined the event and spoke on ‘Talent, Technology & Transformation’.

In Lahore, Salman Shah, Advisor to the Chief Minister of Punjab on Economic Affairs and Planning & Development attended the event as the Guest of Honour.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Re-thinking Sustainable Investment Landscape in Pakistan’, he said, “Government has shifted greater focus on sustainable development and enabling upskilling of businesses to benefit from e-marketplaces like Amazon and Ali Baba. Clean and renewable energy is another imperative to the growth of our economy”.

He further added, “Creating business hubs in Punjab with demographic sectoral focus is a key government priority to help create job opportunities, enhance economic activity and increase exports”.

Also present as the Guest of Honour was Hashim Jawan Bakht, Finance Minister, Government of Punjab who shared his thoughts on ‘Talent, Technology & Transformation’.

He said, “Sustainable and inclusive economic growth is dependent upon agile, data-driven, and resilient government decision making. Recent policy improvements for the technology sector are set to help bring in valuable foreign exchange.”

He added, “We must continually focus on digitalization and amplify ease of doing business to sustain the growth momentum.”

The first session discussed, ‘Putting Pakistan on the Global Digital Map – Leapfrog into the future’.

The discussion was led by a keynote by Fatima Asad; CEO, Abacus Consulting. The panel included Badar Khushnood; E-commerce Platform & Bramerz | x-Google, Facebook & Twitter; Chairman P@SHA; Ahmer Mallick, CEO, PBIT; Sajjad Syed, Chairman, Excellence Delivered; Muhammad Awais, Partner, EY Ford Rhodes and was moderated by Omer Zaheer Meer, Chair MNP & Tax Committee ACCA Pakistan.

The second-panel discussion talked about, ‘Accelerated Financial Inclusion: Ethics, Emerging Technologies, and Social Impact’. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder, and CEO, Akhuwat Foundation.

The panel included Zia Ul Mustafa, President ICMA Pakistan; Qasif Shahid, Co-founder & CEO, Finja; Jahanzeb Khan, CEO, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd.; Roshaneh Zafar, Founder & Managing Director, Kashf Foundation; Mohsin Khawaja, Director, Mahmood Group of Industries & President, EO Lahore and was moderated by Arif Masud Mirza, Regional Head of Policy ACCA (MESA).

Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA Global joined the PLC 2022 virtually and highlighted ACCA’s contributions and continued commitment to sustainable development, saying, “For ACCA, as accountants and as leaders, it’s about driving good well-considered decisions and business strategies, that consider people and the planet, as well as profit.”

She added, “It’s about a new way of keeping score in business, a new way of measuring success and counting value that considers wider measures than the financial bottom line. It must include impacts on the environment and impacts on society too.”

Speaking at the event, Assad Hameed Khan, Head of ACCA Pakistan shared his thoughts on Pakistan’s path to a sustainable economy, ‘‘ACCA is committed to positively influencing governments, policymakers, and regulators on sustainability matters, and develop the profession in alignment with the SDGs.”

He added, “ACCA and ACCA members continue to contribute, collaborate and converge thought leaders to bring conversations that explore high impact action items to drive an inclusive social and economic growth for a sustainable Pakistan.”

ACCA also hosted another ceremony in the evening for their newly qualified ACCA members and High Achievers titled, ‘New Members and High Achievers Ceremony 2022’ that celebrated their achievements as they continue to embark on their professional journey, committed to contributing to a sustainable Pakistan.

In Karachi, the guest included Atif Kaludi, CFO Lucky Cement, and Asim Siddiqui, Country Managing Partner EY Ford Rhodes. In Lahore, Senator Walid Iqbal attended the event as the Chief Guest.

Orla Collins, President, ACCA Global sent in her message where spoke about her own experiences, saying, “No matter how the landscape changes in the years to come – and change it will – you know that ACCA will be there with you. ACCA will be there for you – offering all the help, advice, and support you could need or want.”

Starting in 2017, PLC has now become an important annual event for those who want to stay up to date with the ever-evolving business world and the accountancy profession.

It has also cemented ACCA’s role as a super-connector for key stakeholders.

The event was broadcasted live on ACCA’s social media pages with over 2 million followers as well as ACCA’s global audience which includes 233,000 members and 536,000 future members.

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