LAHORE (APP) - A two-member USAID Assessment Mission on Saturday visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to discuss establishment of Centres of Excellence in various universities of Pakistan with special focus on water, energy and agriculture development. LCCI Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher gave a detailed briefing to the team comprising Professor Michael Philips from Cornell University, Engineer Arshad Hameed Abbasi. LCCI former Presidents Tariq Hameed, Mian Muzaffar Ali and former SVP Abdul Basit also spoke on the occasion. The USAID Mission would stay in Pakistan till December 8 to interact with key persons and organizations including research institutes, associations, professional groups and technical specialists to add their valuable input to this endeavour. Kashif Meher informed the USAID Mission that improved services to address the issues being faced by water, energy and agriculture sectors would definitely benefit Pakistan a lot. Before long-term planning, he said, the country direly needs short-term solution to water issues with neighbouring country. The areas selected by USAID like agriculture, energy and water are of great importance and particularly very critical for Pakistans economy. The challenges are enormous and the business community in particular is in a fix to cope with these challenges, he maintained. The SVP said the efforts to align Higher Education of Pakistan with the modern and best practices of the world, would also contribute to a great extent. The idea of establishing Centres of Excellence at selected varsities for bringing betterment in these areas is a step in right direction. He said the scope of these centres could be expanded by ensuring representation of private sector in their management. In each major city of Pakistan, there exists a chamber of commerce, therefore, for any particular university in which Centre for Excellence is planned, one representative of chamber can be included. We firmly believe in promoting public-private partnership and these Centres can provide good opportunity to us to collaborate with each other, he added.