There is a strong need to develop highly efficient academia-industry-government ties as well as cross-sectoral collaborations to tackle educational, business and governance issues facing the country and help the youth become valuable contributors towards the nation’s progress and development.

This was a common consensus of noted speakers who attended the inaugural session of the 2nd International Business Conference and Exhibition that began at the Expo Centre Lahore on Saturday, October 28. The event has been organized by the University of Management and Technology Lahore (UMT) in collaboration with over 100 exhibitors from more than 15 countries.

The second incarnation of three–day exhibition that ends October 30 has brought together leading business leaders, educational experts, academicians, investors and traders under one roof in an effort to not only increase academia-industry relations, but also to jointly deliberate on various key policy and strategy-level issues facing the economies and professionals in a changing world. Core areas of focus in various speaker sessions being conducted during the course of IBCE include CPEC, alternative energy, health and medical sector, housing and real estate, textile, IT and communications and food industry.

Welcoming guests at the inaugural session, IBCE chief organiser Abid Sherwani said the success of IBCE meant that UMT would make the international event a regular part of its calendar year, as there was dire need for conducting events that brought academia and industry experts together.

 

Ahsan Iqbal, interior minister of Pakistan
IBCE Chief Guest Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal addresses the attendants.

Chief guest of the inaugural session, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, said success and progress in modern times required constant innovation and keeping pace with the rapid developments in a changing world. He said businesses needed to be in sync with changes in technology, changes in competitive environment and changes in the consumers’ preferences. The minister said it was important to develop platforms for collaboration in order to turn the country’s fortunes around. He said the government’s Vision 2025 envisioned the country’s university becoming engines of innovation and ideas for prosperity and development. He praised UMT and events like IBCE for bridging the gaps between government, industry and academia. Iqbal said the government was striving hard for the economic and social prosperity of the country and today’s Pakistan was much better than Pakistan of 2013.

Dr Hassan Sohaib Murad, chairman of the ILM Trust, said professionals in the developing countries remained too engrossed in their own areas of expertise, but the enormity of challenges facing the country meant that every sector needed to work with the other to take the economy as well as the society forward. He said development was only possible through partnership between all sectors of economy. Murad said the government needed to provide a conducive environment, policy framework, resources and equal opportunities to all stakeholders of the business sector. The role of business sector was equally important as it needed to capitalize upon the country’s human and natural resources to the max and take advantage of opportunities to offer world-class products and services. Summing up his speech, Dr Murad added that the academia’s responsibility was to provide capable human resources for both the business industry and the government, and needed to take a long term view to develop human capital that could turn opportunities in Pakistan and abroad into tangible benefits. He said IBCE was a great platform for students and faculty members to take stock of the trends and requirements in the business sector and fine-tune their skills to offer the best services to employers for macro gains.

 

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