Category Archives: Economics

Non Resident Pakistani (NRP) Summit: July 5-6, 2008, NYC

FYI. Added from forwarded message

Summit Logo

Dear Sir/Madam:

 I’m pleased to invite you to attend the first world-wide Non Resident Pakistani (NRP) Summit – 2008. This is the leading event of its kind, bringing together the most successful NRPs to a single event. This summit will take place at the Hilton Hotel in New York City on July 5th and 6th, 2008.
 
We note that inspired Non Resident Indians have justly contributed approximately 50% towards the growth and progress of
India. The Non Resident Chinese have contributed more than 75% to the growth of China. And Pakistan? No one really knows.  Our summit will serve as a platform where all those interested in doing business with Pakistan and in enhancing its growth and progress will meet to identify such opportunities.  The NRP SUMMIT – 2008 was established to develop the strategic insight to forge future growth and peaceful progress in Pakistan among NRPs and others interested in Pakistan’s growth.    We believe that you can make a valuable contribution to the Summit and also gain useful benefits from your presence at the Summit. Please contact us at 1-212-685-6243 or visit our website to register on line: www.nrpsummit.org to have your name added to the growing roster of attendees. 

In today’s world the importance of Pakistan is undeniable and without peace and progress in Pakistan, world safety is unattainable.

We look forward to your attendance at the NRP Summit – 2008.  

Sincerely,

 


Mahmood Shaukat

NRP Summit Chairman & CEO

 

 375 Fifth Ave. 3rd Floor New York, NY 10016 T 212 685 6243 F 212 685 6924

info@nrpsummit.org | www.nrpsummit.org

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2007 TR35 Awards

Technology Review magazine from MIT has announced its 2007 Young Innovators awards given to 35 people under 35 years of age whose inventions and research are having or are likely to have a significant impact on the world.

You can view the full list here: http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/

Two of the award winners are further recognized:

2007 Innovator of the Year: David Berry (for work on renewable petroleum from microbes)
2007 Humanitarian of the Year: Tapan Parikh (for building mobile phone-based software tools for developing economies)

I also liked the work by Tariq Krim on building personal, dynamic Web pages,

by Sanjit Biswas on mesh networks-based, cheap Internet access,

by Jeff LaPorteon Internet-based (Skype-like) calling from mobile phones,

and by Garrett Camp on the web discovery toolbar.

Of course there is much other interesting work not related to the Internet; check out the list.

Seminar on Pakistani Economy at Johns Hopkins, April 16

The Pakistani American Leadership Center cordially invites you to attend

“A Discussion with Dr. Shamshad Akhtar and Dr. Salman Shah”

Monday, April 16 2007

SAIS Rome Auditorium, Johns Hopkins University

Washington, D.C.

4:30pm – 7 :00pm

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar is the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and is the first woman to serve in this position. Prior to her appointment to this position, she worked at the Asian Development Bank for 16 years, most recently as the Director General of the Southeast Asia Department. She also worked for 10 years as an Economist in the World bank’s Resident Mission in Pakistan. She has presented numerous papers on issues of monetary and fiscal policy, banking and capital market, international finance architecture, regulation and supervision, and corporate restructuring. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Palsley College of Technology in the U.K.

Dr. Akhtar will speak on “Pakistan’s Banking Sector Reforms: How Does It Compare with Its Neighbors in Asia?”

Dr. Salman Shah is the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs. He brings experience in academia, and the public and private sectors. He has served as Chairman of the Privatization Commission, Advisor to SMEDA at its inception, and Advisor on Public Finance for the Government of Punjab. He has been on the Board of Governors of the State Bank of Pakistan, PIA, Foundation University and Bank of Punjab. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Indiana University, and has taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and the business schools at the University of Michigan and Indiana University.

Dr. Shah will speak on “Pakistan in South Asia: Prospects for Regional Economic Integration”

RSVP to Jenika Kaul at southasia@jhu.edu, with your contact details and affiliation.

Global Trade in Higher Education

Countries continue to negotiate on a new global trade agreement as part of the functioning of the World Trade Organization. In addition to GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, talks are also taking place on GATS, the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

On aspect of GATS deals with the provision, and consumption, of higher education across borders. The US government is willing to make American higher education services more accessible to other countries. However negotiations could conceivably also result in educational institutions in other countries easily being able to offer services to US students. All in all, this should be a good thing – or so one would think. Alas, nothing is ever that simple.

Some American education associations are protesting the US move saying in essence that compliance with GATS rules could result in a difference in the treatment of public and private colleges in the US and also adversely affect the regulation of higher education institutions by states. In a letter to the US trade representative, Susan Schwab, the associations expressed concern that “a U.S. commitment in the higher education services sector could ultimately undermine all of our institutions’ time-honored autonomy with respect to important prerogatives, including the approval of credit transfers”. Even state officials are protesting; the governors of Maine and Iowa also wrote to the US Trade Representative expressing reservations about the impact of GATS rules on higher education in the US.

An educational association official quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education said “Some bureaucrat at the World Trade Organization could be making decisions that overturn the judgment of the U.S. Congress or state governments,”. Would you have expected to hear this kind of statement in connection with issues in higher education? Does it sound familiar?

Apparently the US Trade Representative has not yet formally replied to the educational associations’ letter but a spokesperson for her provided assurance that the US offer for trade in higher education services would not harm US education policies and services.

Meanwhile another group, the National Committee for International Trade in Education , is advocating the enhancing of global trade in education. Its efforts are supported by some educational institutions such as Jones International University, a for-profit institution that provides online education and serves non-US markets. Other US-based for-profit higher education institutions and testing companies seeking to expand into the international market also support the US proposal.

The tussle between the supporters and detractors of trade in higher education service is likely to continue for a while, and not just in the US. It is quite likely that groups in other countries will also get involved. I wonder if we will see public spectacles like the protests associated with GATT talks. I think I’ll continue to follow this topic so stay tuned for more reports.

(Some of the material in this post draws upon an article by Andrea Foster in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Volume 53, Issue 30, Page A29, March 30, 2007)

Business climate in Pakistan

A couple of interesting reports on the business climate in Pakistan these days. (Thanks to PAL-C for providing information about and links to these reports).

First, despite the ruckus accompany the suspension of the Chief Justice in Pakistan, the financial services firm of JP Morgan has this to say about the investment climate in Pakistan and Musharraf’s position:

“• Investment climate impact: We believe that investors need not be apprehensive of the situation that has been created. President
Musharraf’s painstaking efforts to bring the country economically to where it is today are not likely to be eroded by this one step. It is, after all, an election year and we are likely to see a few ups and downs politically. We would still recommend that investors focus on Pakistan’s improving economic fundamentals.”

Acceptance of SJC decision
President Musharraf has categorically stated that he will accept whatever decision the SJC takes. He has also stated that once the hearing of the CJ is over and the SJC gives its decision, he will publicly explain on national television the details of the entire incident.”

This is the link to the report provided by PAL-C.

Second, Pakistan’s country profile in a report from the World Bank on doing business in South Asia in 2007 gives it a reasonably good evaluation (2nd overall in South Asia and in the upper half of countries globally – figure at top of page 45).

The ease of doing business in various cities of Pakistan is ranked (ca April 2006, Table 2.7) as follows:
1. Karachi
2. Faisalabad
3. Sialkot
4. Lahore
5. Peshawar
6. Quetta

Again, this is the link to the report provided by PAL-C.

Note, both of the links provide partial reports, not full copies.

Seminar: Sustaining Economic Reform in Pakistan, March 21

Announcement received from PAL-C

————————————————————————————

“SUSTAINING ECONOMIC REFORM IN PAKISTAN”

Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 12:00-2:00pm

Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave NW
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University

Co-Sponsored by the Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C) and the SAIS South Asia Studies Program

This event will explore business and investment opportunities in Pakistan, the prospects for increased investment in Pakistan and its consequent impact on political and social development, and the possibility of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and United States. These questions will be considered within the context where the U.S. remains by far Pakistan’s leading export market – accounting for about one-fifth of total exports – while a stable, economically thriving Pakistan is vital to U.S. strategic interests. It is the second in a series of events at SAIS on “Fresh Perspectives in Pakistan.”

12:00-12:30pm Lunch and Registration

12:30-2:00pm Panel Discussion

Panel: Adnan Hassan (The World Bank), Gary Clyde Hufbauer (Institute for International Economics), Esperanza Gomez Jelalian (S-Pakistan Business Council), (moderator) K. Alan Kronstadt (Congressional Research Service)
 

Adnan Hassan is Senior Advisor in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at the World Bank and he recently was the moderator at the recent Euromoney Pakistan Investment Conference in Islamabad, which was attended by foreign investors, by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, and by leading businesspersons.

Gary C. Hufbauer is currently the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Economics, Washington D.C., and is the co-author of a recent study on “Sustaining Reform with a USPakistan Free Trade Agreement.”

Esperanza Gomez Jelalian serves as Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council (USPBC), the leading private sector association of U.S. companies with business and investment in Pakistan.

K. Alan Kronstadt has been a Specialist in Asian Affairs for the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C., since 2002, where he researches and writes on U.S. relations with India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka for Members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs.

RSVP to Jenika Kaul at southasia[at]jhu.edu, with “Econ Reform” in the subject, and with your contact details and affiliation.

Think Tank with a Twist

Pay attention to a new think tank. It is run by students.

The Roosevelt Institution started by students from Stanford with the help of other students from Columbia, Yale, and Middlebury College, researches policy issues and communicates results to officials at all levels of government and legislature. Part of the idea behind the institution is that the research and writing students undertake for their classes can be applied to the real world.

The Institution has chapters and activities on about 200 campuses across the US, Canada, and Europe. Its campus-based policy centers are formed by students who research, analyze, and develop solutions to policy issues in a variety of areas such as energy, human rights, public health, etc.

The organization’s advisors include people such as Richard Celeste – former governor of Ohio and former US Ambassador to India, the influential philosopher Richard Rorty, and the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine “The Nation” Katrina vanden Heuvel.

In 2007 the Institution is focusing on three challenges concerning issues in higher education, energy, and the plight of working families. Problems and solutions related to these areas will be presented by students in a series of symposia held at several US universities throughout the year. A symposium on energy policy will be held this Saturday (March 03, 2007) on the Stanford University campus.

The Roosevelt Institution provides students with good experience in directly applying their education to affecting national and state policy on social and political issues while still in college. The organization is only a little over two years old. It will be interesting to observe what impact it has on policy and, more importantly, how it influences students who work in it and how it shapes their careers.