LAHORE - To pay tribute to Pathfinder Group chairman Ikram Sehgal for his efforts in portraying Pakistan’s soft image at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, the CEOs’ Club Pakistan on Saturday arranged a ‘Corporate Breakfast Session’ at a local hotel.

The participants of the breakfast session titled as “Share the learning of Davos’ World Economic Forum, Switzerland” greeted the renowned columnist and defense analysts Ikram Sehgal for setting up the Pakistan Pavilion with financial assistance of Pathfinder Group and Martin Dow Group in association with the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce. The key speakers included renowned companies CEOs like Kahwar Rafique, Iqbal Ghazi, Farid Alam, Babar Nadim and Dr. Amjad Saqib.

The speakers said that the first time World Economic Forum (WEF) history, the Pavilion was set up to showcase Pakistan's image in a soft and positive light. This experimental initiative was a walk-in affair where Pakistani entrepreneurs, financial experts and companies CEOs were available to interact with international investors, experts and officials.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Bilawal Bhutto also put forward their best foot to enhance Pakistan’s image at WEF held last Jan this year. Bilawal Bhutto took a clear position on the role of Pakistan’s military and this time it was accepted.

PM Abbasi also in his session titled “The Belt and Road Impact” at the World Economic Forum said, results from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were starting to show. CPEC is about developing infrastructure, power plants, airports, seaports, highways and Special Economic Zones for export growth. Pakistan Pavilion and Pakistan breakfast in Davos, hosted by Ikram Sehgal was a great initiative which went a long way in putting forward Pakistan’s point of view and its soft image at the global forum. The speakers said that ignoring the Davos gathering was not an option, as the Pakistan Pavilion was the first step to make the country’s presence felt. They said that Pakistan Pavilion was established in a bid to project soft image of the country among the wealthy business elites of the world attending world economic forum.

The participants of the breakfast session observed that Davos presented a huge potential for Pakistan, urging the Pakistani political and business leaders to rethink the importance of participating in the WEF annual meetings. With the world becoming so changeable, leaders will have to share real-time insights and innovations on how best to navigate the future. “Our negative image can only be erased by casting a longer soft shadow over the Davos world stage.”

Ikram Sehgal, addressing the session, said that the nationals from various countries and heads of a number of companies attended the prime gathering of global elites to see and present their points of views what Pakistan offered to the world. He further stated that in future Pakistan Pavilion will be much better and there will be wider publicity. Europeans and Asians had come to see what Pakistan offered and there could not be better place than the prime gathering of global elites to promote Pakistan soft image.

He said that Indian companies were putting small kiosks everywhere in Davos and there was an urgent need that Pakistani companies should also come forward to support this cause. Davos gets your narrative not only heard but understood, as it’s a unique opportunity to showcase Pakistan.

For Pakistan it was important to showcase the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is an economic force-multiplier for peace and stability in the region. With its vast pool of skilled manpower to go with its enormous raw material reserves, Pakistan has the potential of becoming one of the most powerful economic engines in the region.

 

 

 

 

SALMAN ABDUHU