A delegation of USAID Pakistan led by its Mission Director Jerry Bisson visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to explore areas of collaboration with ICCI with particular focus on promoting business startups and improving economic empowerment of women.
Speaking at the occasion, Jerry Bisson, Mission Director, USAID Pakistan said that his organization was working with public and private sectors in Pakistan to have positive impact of scale on the economy of Pakistan. He said USAID will use public-private partnerships to leverage private sector financial resources and knowledge. He said that ICCI was the voice of private sector in the region and the purpose of their visit to Chamber was to explore potential areas of mutual collaboration that could benefit the private sector in achieving better growth.
Khalid Malik, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce welcomed the USAID Pakistan team and said that USAID should cooperate with ICCI in strengthening its Women Business Growth Centre that would facilitate the growth of women business startups. He said women were half of our population and stressed that USAID and ICCI should work together for the economic empowerment of women. Tahir Ayub, Vice President, ICCI said that Pakistan was an agricultural country and emphasized that USAID should join hands with ICCI in promoting agro sector SMEs in the region.
The representatives of private sector said that energy cost in Pakistan was highest in the region making our exports uncompetitive in the international market. They urged that USAID Pakistan should push the government for deregulation of energy sector that would enhance competition, improve efficiency, bring down energy cost and ultimately facilitate the growth of trade and industry in the country. Both organizations also discussed many other areas of mutual collaboration including youth development, skills development of labor to cater to the needs of industry, strengthening the role of SMEs etc. Tariq Sadiq, Sheikh Amir Waheed, Mohsin Khalid, Shaban Khalid, Rafat Farid, Ms. Fatima Azeem, Ms. Zeenat Ayesha, Mian Waqas and others also spoke at the occasion and highlighted areas of mutual cooperation between USAID and ICCI for the benefit of private sector.