ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is one of the world’s most forward-thinking global bodies of professional accountants, supportingits 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business. ACCA has a network of 101 offices and centers and more than 7,291 approved employers worldwide.
ACCA organized the 2nd edition of Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) with six events in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore on 20, 21,22 and 27of March2018.PLC is a forum for thought leaders to sit together and explore forward thinking policy choices. The theme was “Collective Vision for an Emerging Pakistan” and it featured over 40 local and foreign conversation leaders to deliberate and propose policy recommendations based on ACCA’s global research and professional insights.These conversations were also webcasted across the globe and had active participation from over 15 countries. The conferences were followed by corporate dinners and new member ceremonies with ACCA members and prize winning students.
ACCA members pledged to collaborate with private and public sectors to drivesocial and economic growth for an Emerging Pakistan. Key focus – average 7% GDP growth over the next 5 years, and bringing Pakistan’s ranking in the top 50 for Global Competitiveness Index and Ease of doing business.
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ACCA has helped to define some of the vital elements required for delivering on socio-economic development across Pakistan. One of the key items that havebeen at the heart of the conversation has been the role CPEC will play under China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). ACCA is playing its part by utilizing its worldwide reach with BRI countries, engaging policy makers, academia and business to realign priorities and strategies to take full advantage of the potential that CPEC has to offer.
ACCA has drawn a roadmap with key deliverables essential to continue Pakistan’s progression towards achieving socio-economic prosperity. One of the big ticket items is tax and foreign exchange regulation reforms. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18, taxation policy and tax collecting agency’s mindset, preceded by corruption, is the second biggest impediment to ease of doing business and global competitiveness rankings of Pakistan. In the past, measures have been taken for curbing corruption but the taxation system requires more trust-driven and transparent policy and its collection. Procedural reforms in foreign direct investment coming into Pakistan are necessary for global participation in Pakistan’s economy.
The other main drivers of change that can create an impact include the “Youth of Pakistan”. By nurturing this natural talent leveraging the 4th Industrial Revolution (powered digitally),Pakistan is in a unique position to access the ‘global market’ for consumers, products and services. By focusing on developing policies that will enable the digital economy, the youth of Pakistan will be key drivers in this new economy which will lead to social and financial inclusion, access to education and health care and economic participation of women which will help in attracting local and foreign investment.
The correlation between innovation and economic growth are the cornerstones of development. For Pakistan to achieve certain development goals certain sectors of the economy are need of overhaul which includes the financial markets, access to bank credit and governance structures of family owned businesses that require revamping to expand the access to capital from seed capital to growth capital. ACCA has taken a key interest in this area by creating awareness of the central bank’s recent reforms to support SMEs, Securities &Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s private equity related initiatives and its implementation, expansion of retail penetration in Pakistan Stock Exchange, succession of family owned business and knowledge sharing forums including ‘Startup eco-system’ to support innovation.
ACCA works in public interest and ensures that the businesses operate as a force for good and it can only do that if it operates to strong ethical and professional standards. ACCA has 200,000 members across the globe and these members work all over the world to build the profession and make society fairer and more transparent. The actionable agenda and the collective vision of the conversation leaders at PLC resonate with the entire ACCA fraternity.