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ADB delegation, LCCI Leadership Discuss Issues Including Economic Development

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LAHORE– A study mission of the Asia Development Bank (ADB) from Manila, led by Herman Sonneveld, Monday called on LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad.

Both sides discussed a number of issues including economic development of Pakistan, business climate, vocational training and industry academia linkages. 

ADB Representative answered various questions raised by the LCCI office-bearers and Executive Committee Members.

Herman Sonneveld, who is expert on vocational education and training, said that Asian Development Bank ADB has a long track record in assisting its developing member countries for achieve the goal of quality education for all.

He said that training and skills development systems in developing member countries need to be fully equipped to produce human resources with competencies that are aligned to the needs of the labor market.

He said that Asian Development Bank has been assisting Pakistan address its various issues but investment in technical and vocational education must be backed by the institutional improvement.

LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh appreciated the role Asian Development in Economic Development of Pakistan particularly through up-gradation of country’s power infrastructure.

Referring to workforce in our country, LCCI President said that Pakistan have yet to take a number of steps to improve their skills set. It is imperative that the Curricula of skill development institutions should be modified and reformed to make it more demand driven, with special focus on skill-competitiveness and employability of the graduates.

This can be done through knowledge partnerships with high quality private sector employers and international training providers.

“There is a wide difference between the modern world and our part of the world in terms of economic growth, technological development, various facilities and opportunities available to the masses”, he added.

LCCI President said one of the most critical differences is the low level of literacy which can further be narrowed down to low levels of skills, proficiency, productivity and employability etc.

He said that human capital enhancement is a critical path to achieve growth, so, addressing the human capital challenge through the provision of necessary skills is critical.

He said that the identification of district-wise thrust areas for skill training is important. Similarly, the identification of industry-wise skill set required for training is imperative.

He said that approximately two-thirds of Punjab’s population today is below the age of 30. They can become key factor in achieving better rate of growth if they are given right skills.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that failure to provide required skills which are in line with modern requirement can cause unemployment to rise or may end up in disguised unemployment or underpaid employment.

LCCI Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar said that the challenge is not just about creating job opportunities but also producing well trained manpower with basic to advanced level technical and vocational training.

He said that according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief 2018, among countries, the top remittance recipients were India with $79 billion, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion). Pakistan’s remittances have been stagnant around $20 billion.

LCCI Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that we have to make good use of abundant manpower available in our country. They can become effective source of earning foreign remittances if they are placed in different countries after giving them state-of-the-art training.

LCCI EC members Doctor Riaz Ahmad, Wasif Yousaf, Khalid Usman, Zeeshan Suhail Malik, Arshad Khan, Ch. Nusrat Tahir, Haji Asif Saher , Sheikh Sajjad Afzal.— PRESS RELEASE