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KARACHI: The Karachi session of the ACCA Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) 2023 concluded with an actionable, forward-thinking policy agenda for businesses and governments.

Consistent with this year’s theme of “Shaping the future in uncertain times: learn, adapt, thrive”, the session focused on key policy reforms and business initiatives to create a conducive environment for the emerging sectors to thrive and help the country deal with its current economic challenges.

Focusing on the central role of accountancy profession, ACCA’s global president, Joseph Owolabi, in his keynote address emphasized that as society’s expectations shift with speed and intensity, the challenges that lie ahead for business, governments and policymakers are complex. But with skills, knowledge, and experience that transcend sectors and borders, the accountancy profession is uniquely placed to help drive the change people want to see, he added

Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, in his address focused on environment, climate change and green growth.

Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, also spoke at the event and delivered an insightful talk on the topic ‘Building economic resilience in uncertain times’. She said that SBP is now strengthening its statistical department and in future SBP will use artificial intelligence to improve quality of data for measuring CPI for inflation.

She mentioned that on international front Russian-Ukraine conflict, global commodity pieces and concern on energy and food supplies and domestic front political uncertainty, delay 9th IFM review led to inflation, deprecation of currency and exchange reserves. “In any crisis it is not possible to keep everyone happy, so we need to have courage to set priorities,” she added.

She mentioned the SBP has a team of qualified people which will meet small and large scale businesses to access and gain economic intelligence on consumer demand, manufacturing, construction, capacity utilization, investment plans, etc.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, President and CEO, HBL, delivered an insightful keynote presenting a business case for the adoption of ESG framework and explained how it enables businesses to achieve sustainable growth: attract investments, earn customer trust, drive financial performance and make business operations more efficient.

Notable conversation leaders who contributed with their knowledge and insights included Shaista Ayesha, CEO, SEED Ventures, Sadia Dada, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, K Electric, Assad Hameed Khan, Head of ACCA Pakistan, Eqan Ali Khan, GM Strategy, Business Development & Innovation, Lucky Core Industries Limited, Mehvish Waliany, COO, AlKaram Studio, Muhammad Shahzad, Finance Director and ESG Ambition Lead, Unilever Pakistan, Nazish Shekha, Senior Research Associate, CERB, Rana Nadeem, Partner, KPMG, Sarwat Ahson, Executive Director, CFA Society Pakistan, Naureen Hayat, Co-Founder & CEO, Tez Financial Services, Nasha Tengra, Senior Manager Consulting, Digital, Data, Strategy & Fintech, A F Ferguson & Co, Azfer Naseem, CEO-Alpha Capital (Pvt) Ltd, Muhammad Shamoon Tariq, Founder/CEO, Mahaana Wealth, Muhammad Shoaib, CEO, Al-Meezan Investment Management, Shahzad Shahid, Group CEO, TPS Worldwide, and Shaham Ahmed, Honorary Secretary, ICMA Pakistan

The aim of this annual conference by ACCA is to develop a meaningful framework for growth, facilitate ideation, and shape forward-thinking policy choices and business opportunities, focusing on high-impact actions to contribute to the country's progress. The leaders will convene for finale edition on 23 February in Lahore.

Seed Ventures joined as co-organizers for this year’s edition. Bank Islami and The Coca-Cola Company were the Strategic Partners. Platinum Partners included SKANS School of Accountancy, U Microfinance Bank, and The Millennium Universal College. Telenor Group Adroit Accountax/Obox Accounting, National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited, National Disaster Risk Management Fund, Tabani's School of Accountancy, PAC Group of Colleges and Mirchawala’s Hub of Accountancy supported as Gold Partners. TCM - The Centrum Media joined as Outreach Partner and KPMG and Nutshell Group were the Knowledge Partners.

The event is also supported by the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), Pakistan Stock Exchange, Special Technology Zones Authority, Pakistan Software Houses Association, KP Board of Investment and Trade, The Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (PBC), ICMA Pakistan, National Incubation Center, Universal Service Fund, Punjab Board of Investment & Trade, Punjab Information Technology Board, Central Power Purchasing Agency, and the CFA Society Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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