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United States redefining bilateral relations with Pakistan

KARACHI: Shelley Saxen, Political and Economic Chief of U.S. Consulate General, stated that the U.S. Pakistan bilateral relationship is strong and continues to expand and our interest is in helping Pakistan grow its economy. She added that the private sector must become more proactive to resolve Pakistan’s branding problem. She was addressing the Members of the Board of Directors of Employers Federation of Pakistan, says a Press release.
Saxen further said that business delegations to the U.S. make a lot of positive impact and it is important for business organizations to visit the USA and interact not only with their counterparts but also with government officials. It is the business community that can do pragmatic advocacy and lobbying in the USA. Saxen complimented EFP for its vision and for initiating and working on impressive projects to address Disability, Occupational Safety and Health, Gender Equality, Women Empowerment, Skills Development, National Skills Passport, and Labor Standards Compliance. She praised EFP for its leadership role in these initiatives. She gave a clarion call for investing in people and transforming workers to become skilled and competent with the latest technology and working environment.
Elijah Jatovsky, Political Officer of U.S. Consulate General, said that he has recently arrived in Karachi. He also appreciated the hard work being done by EFP. He was specifically interested in knowing the positive efforts of disabled workers in enhancing organizations’ productivity. He wanted to know any efforts made by EFP regarding agriculture workers and whether efforts are underway for their formal registration. He desired to know the viewpoint of EFP regarding the introduction of the Pakistan Accord.
Earlier, Muhammad Feroz Alam, Vice President EFP, in his welcome address, highlighted the efforts of EFP in formulation of Sindh Labor Policy, Gender Equality Policy, and a new Social Contract that are the need of the hour. He informed that EFP, in collaboration with IBA, has a Diploma project on Employment Laws and Industrial Relations and this project has been widely appreciated by member companies. He also said that EFP is in complete harmony with Pakistan Workers Federation as well as Federal and Provincial Labor Ministries. This has enabled industrial peace as well as shared values.
Majyd Aziz, Former President EFP, said that EFP has embarked on the process to meet diplomats and sensitize them about EFP activities. He added that the diplomats should be informed about the social protection programs, social dialogue modes, the plans to introduce green skills development, and ensuring Labor Standards compliance. He added that emphasis is now on Environment, Social and Governance as Key Performance Indicators. Most of the EFP members are committed to ensure that their working environment is safe and workers safety and health are protected. He disclosed that a EFP delegation may visit the USA later this year.
Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General EFP, gave a detailed powerpoint presentation about EFP, its role, initiatives, and achievements. He dealt in detail the importance of EFP in promoting Gender Equality, Skills Development, OSH, Disability Inclusion, etc. and enumerated the various Excellence Awards given to member companies for their positive contributions. He also presented videos on National Skills Passport and Pakistan National Disability Network, that have been initiated in Pakistan for the first time and would be of immense importance for workers, employers and government.
An animated interaction between the diplomats and EFP Board Members provided ideas and information for the diplomats. Topics such as SIFC, the crucial role of importers, especially brands, employment landscape, data protection, intellectual property rights, home based and domestic workers, and more collaboration and cooperation with US Chambers and Associations were discussed.
EFP Board Members who were present were Khalid Junejo, Humayun Nazir, Mohsin Tabani, Hasnain Mazhar, Sadaf Hatif, Mehmood Arshad and Mustafa Diwan, Fahd Zaidi and Qaseem Saeed of USCG Economic and Commercial Section also attended.