Building better chambers and associations in Pakistan

Chambers of commerce and business associations in Pakistan have started showing significant improvements in the way they serve their members. Contributing to that outcome is CIPE’s continued work on capacity building initiatives to help chamber and association staff learn modern corporate governance and management concepts. As a part of these efforts, last week CIPE organized the 3rd annual Secretaries’ General Conference in Lahore.

34 secretaries general (the paid CEO position) representing chambers of commerce and sectoral association from across Pakistan attended the event, including 17 new participants. CIPE efforts were also successful in brining secretaries general from women chambers in areas such as Mardan, Peshawar and Quetta that are generally considered difficult for women’s empowerment. For Nazia Durrani, newly elected Secretary General of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mardan, it was the first such event. “It was a great opportunity for me,” she said. Other participants shared that view, emphasizing that this annual conference provides them with a unique common platform for learning and networking.

Since the 2010 Secretaries’ General Conference, participating chambers have specifically improved their membership services, increased membership numbers, implemented technological changes and entered into the modern era of social media – changes that were never thought off in Pakistan before.

Recent conference started with the participants sharing their success stories on the implementation of the last year’s learning at their institutions. These success stories include:

  • increased membership and retention thanks to a newly designed membership form and personal follow up at the time of membership renewal,
  • better value proposition for the members and greater attention to their needs,
  • improved board and staff training to ensure professionalism and clarify roles and responsibilities,
  • greater online presence through upgraded websites and social media (Facebook and Twitter integrated with the websites).

This year the participants went through rigorous training programs. The topics covered included leadership, advocacy, legal issues, ethics and proposal writing. At the conclusion of the conference all the attendees agreed to form a coalition and start a group blog where they will be able to discuss the common issues they face and participate in joint policy advocacy initiatives.



8 responses to “Building better chambers and associations in Pakistan

  1. Kim Bettcher

    Good work!

  2. nazia durrani

    dear huzaifa,
    Thank you so really much for memorizing me the great event i am very happy to see the picture and to be the part of this event.once again thank you so much

  3. Like previous conferences, this time CIPE has again provided excellent learning opportunity to Secretary Generals of trade bodies by bringing them together at one platform. Before the operation of CIPE in Pakistan, networking was non-existent. Every chamber was moving in isolation and in a conventional way. There was no concept of networking, innovation, consultation, sharing of ideas and collective policy advocacy on common issues.

    In reality CIPE Pakistan acting as a catalyst assisted in bringing positive changes in terms of capacity building and gave direction to think out of the box for providing efficient services to members and improving the working of trade bodies. The Chambers/Associations which have implemented various projects with the assistance and support of CIPE are now performing in a more professional way. Moreover, a sense of competition has developed that ultimately has not only improved the working but also largely benefited the members.

    In the recent Conference some new concepts were introduced with the amalgamation of technology drive that has given us an idea that as to how websites of the Chambers/Associations should look like. With the implementation of fresh concepts in many areas, a big change can be brought in and now it’s our turn that how effectively, learned techniques are implemented in our organizations to get the true results.

    As discussed in the Conference, I am now in the process of developing a platform for the Secretary Generals, where we can share and discuss common issues to find solutions and to assist each other. Within next few days, with the assistance of CIPE, invitations will be sent to all SGs to join the forum.

    The CIPE team in Pakistan deserves great appreciation for its untiring efforts, especially for shaking the minds of SGs to make them realize that how effectively they can contribute in their respective organizations. We must acknowledge the services of Mr.Moin Fudda, Country Director and Hammad Siddique, Senior Program Manager for designing and excellently conducting such useful programs, which are being successfully backed up by Huzaifa Shabbir Hussain and Ammad Sohail.

  4. This is a huge step for Pakistan and a great success story. Great job CIPE!

  5. Jab Tak Bikay Na Thay Koi Pochta Na Tha,
    Tum Nay Khareed Kay, Anmool Kar Diya,

    We are very much thankful of CIPE Pakistan, whom educate us, to which we don’t know as Chief Executive Officer before.

  6. Sunila Anwar

    Its really appreciative. CIPE has provided a very good platform for all the Secretary Generals. Though it was a 3rd Secretary General Conference but for me it was first and best conference i ever have attendant. I am New Secretary General of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar. After attending this conference i am feeling a big change. It was really fantastic.. specially the time of whistle blowing :)


  7. Dear Mr. Huzaifa,

    First of all, I apologize for the delayed response due to personal mishap that I met during late night coming by road to my home town (Lahore to Narowal – 120 Kilometer) and remained fraughted. Fervent thanks to Allah Almighty that with HIS BLESSINGS we were saved from armed dacoits. The deteriorated law & order situation known to all.

    However, with great pleasure and whole heartedly I extend congratulations to all participants for such a successful “3rd All Pakistan Secretary General Conference” held at Lahore on 12th – 13th April 2011. The well organized and informative conference reflected continuous and vigorous efforts of CIPE TEAM while effusive appreciation stands for Mr. Hammad Siddiqui who always share his best knowledge and experiences with participants. Very special gratitude to Mr. Moin M. Fudda and Mr. Marc Schleifer for joining us / conference and expressing their impetus remarks to participants.

    My inspired feelings for CIPE services will not be completed unless I add and appreciate workaholic efforts of Mr. Huzaifa and Mr. Emad for all best their coordination and cooperation to make the event a success.

    I am confident that we all participants have learnt a lot for an effective implementation to augment the role of Business Associations and to work in a more befitting manner. The proposal of joint forum of Secretary Generals under the guidance of CIPE will be a step forward for an outperform as Secretary General. Mr. Majid Shabbir with all his capabilities will “Inshallah” fulfill the requirements.

    With all my best regards, I will request CIPE Management to continue such workshops/conferences benefitting to SGs.


    Muhammad Tayyab Shaikh
    Secretary General
    Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers &
    Exporters Association (PGMEA)

  8. In the recent past excellent events conducted by the CIPE Management to bring all Secretary Generals under one roof through out Pakistan so that we must appreciate the team members of CIPE for their efforts in this regard.

    Best of Luck

    M. Sarwar
    Secretary General
    All Pakistan Marble Industries Association-(APMIA)
    HO, Islamabad