Karachi (PR): Social entrepreneurs can be powerful agents for change, and can play a useful role in the successful transition to achieving private sector-led growth in Pakistan. This was stated by Mr. Tariq Sayeed, former President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and senior business leader while welcoming a delegation from the United Kingdom visiting Pakistan to explore opportunities in social entrepreneurship.
The British delegation was led by Mr. Tommy Hutchinson, CEO of I-Genius, which is a world community of social entrepreneurs with members in over 200 countries. While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hutchinson said that he was pleased to visit Pakistan, which had tremendous potential for investment which remained to be exploited. He said that the situation on ground was far better than that portrayed by media, and foreign investors could earn splendid returns on investment in Pakistan. He proposed that I-Genius may join hands with FPCCI to organize activities on a larger scale throughout Pakistan. He also suggested that FPCCI may wish to extend support to I-Genius for organizing a social entrepreneurship conference in 2014, which Mr. Tariq Sayeed endorsed wholeheartedly.
In his address, Mr. Tariq Sayeed said that Pakistan ranks 105 for quality of overall infrastructure, 83 for availability of latest technologies, 116 for property rights, and women in labour force by ratio of men is 140. He said that in addition to this Pakistan has one of the world’s largest Deep Sea Ports at Gwadar, the 2nd largest coal reservoir, and the world’s 5th largest gold mine. He further added that Pakistan is the 4th largest producer and 3rd largest user of cotton, it the 6th largest producer of Oranges and 2nd largest producer of chickpea, 4th largest producer of Apricot and Sugarcane, It is also 11th largest wheat producer and 12th largest Rice producer.
He said that Pakistan is the 2nd largest country in charity and alms giving after the United States of America. In Pakistan, charity is directly contributed by individuals to society. This indicates that there may be an opportunity to channel these charitable offerings through a more effective medium, which social entrepreneurs could tap into. He said that Pakistan is home to the world’s largest ambulance service, run by Abdul Sattar Edhi. If we institutionalize this process, it can add value, curtail poverty and address unemployment issues with enhanced productivity.