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Consultative session on Women National Business Agenda

Consultative session on Women National Business Agenda

LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in collaboration with Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) here Wednesday conducted Women National Business Agenda (WNBA) consultative session with women chambers, think-tanks and public sector officials to highlight lack of women-focused economic reform related policies.

On this occasion, FPCCI Vice President Mrs. Masooma Sibatin stressed the need for establishing business conductive environment. “Pakistani women entrepreneurs are facing a number of challenges for setting up and running their businesses, the non-conducive business environment is one of the major reasons, hampering the process of new business establishments, survival, and growth of running businesses,” she added.

She was of the view that WNBA Project would help address all these issues since it was a collective voice to be shared as a document so that it could be added in the women related reforms.  She mentioned that eight consultative meetings were planned under this project and in the first phase, three meetings were held with Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Karachi, Islamabad, and KPK.

Masooma urged that women have to work for themselves in real sense instead of just debating on this topic and this meeting required recommendations from your side as representatives from different departments were sitting here including TDAP (Trade Development Authority Pakistan), SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority), SECP (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan), PCSW (Punjab Commission on the Status of Women), APWA (All Pakistan Women Association), PBIT (Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, and LCCI (Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

SAARC CCI Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik appreciated the project and suggested that SMEDA should cultivate the benefits of the project and come forward for the positive reforms relating to women entrepreneurship. He said that concept of warehousing should be introduced for supporting women entrepreneurs as other countries were following it. He welcomed all the women for any type of assistance related to business and said that he had more than 3,000 women working in his Guard Group of industries, and being leader of business community, he would help all women entrepreneurs.

FPCCI Regional Chairman and Vice President Manzoor-ul-Haq Malik said that Masooma Sibtain had truly represented women business community from FPCCI platform and WNBA was of her efforts for women development. It was really needed to bring reforms in policies related to women entrepreneurship, he said and added that FPCCI always focused to facilitate and encourage women entrepreneur. He said the government should bring easy loan scheme for the women entrepreneur.

CIPE Country Head Hammad Siddique highlighted the salient features of the project and said collective efforts of FPCCI and CIPE would lead to collective voice and it would help filter the valid and fruitful points, then an effective policy could be formulated.

He said that WNBA was an initiative of FPCCI, whereas, CIPE Pakistan facilitating the process as a technical partner to enhance women participation in businesses. Upon finalization of the WNBA document, FPCCI would advocate for inclusion of the women-focused economic reforms in political parties manifestos.