KARACHI: The British Deputy High Commission in Karachi organised Press briefing Saturday at Dolmen Center Clifton here to showcase CSR activities being carried out by UK organisations for the development and prosperity of the communities they work in Pakistan.
The Expo showcased UK companies that practice ‘responsible business’ and highlighted the UK’s expertise in sectors of competitive advantage such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, energy, financial and professional services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer goods.
Speaking at the briefing, British Deputy High Commissioner and UK Trade Director for Pakistan, Elin Burns said, “I am delighted to be showcasing the fantastic range of work being done by leading UK companies investing in Pakistan’s future.” According to Burns, all the projects initiated through collaboration between the governments of Pakistan and UK and those undertaken by the Britain-based companies in Pakistan were not of an ad hoc nature as they were sustainable.
“The expo had participating booths by the Department of International Trade (DIT), the British Council, and various business giants such as Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser Shell, Glaxo Smith and Kline (GSK) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).”
The UK is currently Pakistan’s second largest source of foreign direct investment, Pakistan’s largest export market in Europe and second largest globally. The expo reinforces the UK Government’s continued commitment to increasing trade with Pakistan.
She summed up by disclosing the initiative of benefiting five million children from the United Kingdom’s (UK) collaboration with Pakistan in the field of education .The programme was titled ‘UK-Pakistan collaboration: smart way of doing things’.
Apart from the British diplomat, the event was also addressed by Chief Executive Officers and heads of various UK-based organisations.
Shazad Dada, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank shares some of the projects undertaken by the bank under corporate social responsibility. “We have touched one million lives since we started our projects for social welfare,” he said. Dada informed the Media fellows that a major focus of the bank was on the youth. There were also programmes for women entrepreneurship, which helped women become self-sufficient and financially independent, he said.
Hafeez Pirzada, head of Corporate Communication, Glaxo-Smith Kline (GSK), said the GSK had been operating in the Indian subcontinent since the turn of the 19th century. He remarked that his company was the first pharmaceutical company to be listed on the stock exchange. There were, he said, 650 pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan and the GSK had 16 per cent share in the country’s pharmaceutical market. Currently we are trying to combat Pakistan’s Health care system biggest challenge of antimicrobial threat.
Fahad Ashraf, CEO said his company had been in Pakistan for well over 60 years. He said that they were involved in a project titled ‘Sehat-Safai’ and were reaching out to 60 villages across the country to spread awareness about healthy living by the support of our implementation partners and donors. Reckitt Benckiser trained local women to spread the company’s message in their areas, which also exploited the entrepreneurial skills of the women and mitigated unemployment, he elaborated more.
Habib Haider of the giant Royal-Dutch oil multinational, Shell, said that they had been operating in Pakistan for over 60 years. He said, Shell was behind the convenience utility stores offering various kinds of consumer items that one finds at petrol pumps. He also shares about “Shell Tameer programme”, which enables young people to start their own business and create employment.
Head of Corporate Communication Unilever Pakistan, Hussain Talib said, “We are also investing in the Youth of Pakistan to improve their health and hygiene conditions and supporting TCF to educate our youth.”
Last but not least Ms. Anum Nadeem, head of marketing at Dolmen Mall, said, “We are looking forward to aware our Pakistani females for breaking stereotype and overcoming challenges facing by women in personal and professional lives.”