Lahore - The speakers at South Asia Conclave have said that future economic strategy of the world is not based on oil rather it will rely on innovative market approach and skilled human resource for which the South Asian countries have great potential.

Around 700 delegates attended the second South Asia Conclave held under the theme of ‘Innovating for Growth’ here at a local hotel.

Minister of State and Chairman of Board of Investment Muhammad Zubair was the chairperson for the two-day conclave featuring business and corporate leaders, management gurus, marketing and advertising gurus, writers and parliamentarians. Prominent among the participants were former finance minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Planning, National Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Guenter Zwickl (Siemens), Amr Reda (Lafarge Cement), Ambassador Sherry Rehman (Jinnah Institute), Ambassador Farooq Sobhan (Bangladesh Enterprise Institute), Suzanne Al Houby (Rahlaah Explorers, UAE), Manjeet Kripalani (Gateway House, India), Simeng Geng (CEO, Huawei Technologies) and Syed Tariq Husain (CEO, Emirates Investment Group, UAE).

The inaugural event of the South Asia Conclave brought together leading minds of the region at one platform to share their knowledge, experiences and expertise in key areas.

Privatisation Commission Chairman Mohammad Zubair said that in order to get the economy back on track and reviving state-owned enterprises, long-term strategies have to be made, particularly in the energy and tax collection sectors.

Talking about the government’s privatisation policy, Zubair said the government has a clear-cut plan to enter into strategic partnerships with private sector parties, having the financial strength and management capacity. He said that the government will keep majority shares of all state-owned enterprisers that will be privatised. He reiterated that govt has no plan to sell any state unit completely, he added.

In the first session, Prof Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that political stability is pre-requisite for achieving higher economic growth. He referred to the importance assigned to the knowledge based economy by the government as expressed witnessed in the priorities set in Vision 2025.

Stressing the role of human capital in the process of development, he pointed out various steps taken by government that would help grow the knowledge-based economy.

He lamented that the upcoming sit-in on November 30 might again hamper the flow of foreign investment. He said the previous sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek resulted in the postponement of the Chinese presidents’ visit.

Govt is trying its best to revive the economy and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharf’s recent visit to China is its proof. Foreign Direct Investment from China can be used to bridge the gaps between the energy sector and the economy.

Ahsan Iqbal stressed the need for investment in the social sector and manpower to bring the country at par with developed states.

Ambassador Sherry Rehman observed that creation and nurturing of social and human capital has largely been neglected in the past. The thrust of this investment should be aimed at paving the way for an innovative society, which might compete with the best in the world.

Hina Rabbani Khar, ex- foreign minister, expressed her concerns over relationships among South Asian countries especially Pakistan and India after Modi government, which have now become very tense due to wrong policy of New Delhi.