“Learning, networking, beginning of new friendships, exposure to cases of mutual interests – that is what this forum is to me” - Secretary General, Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry
“It was very informative conference, especially the new idea of panel discussion was excellent. In panel discussion so many legitimate issues came under discussion and the participants shared their experiences and exchange views. This idea of panel discussion provided the opportunity for better understanding about membership development, litigation issues, and preparation of annual performance report/proposed plan activities and how to avail the facility of funding from donor organizations, which is no doubt a great assistance for the Secretary General to perform their obligations for the betterment of members as well for the organization” - Secretary General, Sargodha Chamber of Commerce & Industry
“Take away from this year conference is the conference is the discussion in person with vast experiences/contacts. This particular networking opportunity goes a long way afterwards. Moreover, compliance with Trade Organization Ordinance. 2013 and useful knowledge about funded projects by Donors are my learning/takeaways from this particular session of 2014. Gratitude to CIPE Team once again and congratulations to All Secratery Generals for availing this important opportunity. Now it’s our turn to implement the learning in our Business Association to achieve the purposes of both, the Chamber/Association as well as of CIPE” - Secretary General, Gujrat Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The annual Secretary Generals’ conference is CIPE Pakistan’s flagship event, giving the CEOs of all Pakistan’s business associations an opportunity to come together to network and learn from each other’s experiences.
This year we had 47 nominations, and per our budget had to restrict ourselves to 25 participants. We worked out a viable budget plan and were able to accommodate 40 Secretary Generals, which shows importance of this initiative.
The participants included four women, representing women’s chambers as well as male-dominated business associations. This conference was the 6th such event for Secretary Generals. The Secretary Generals traveled from four provinces of Pakistan to attend this two-day event.
This year a highlight of the conference was the participation of the young secretary generals from small chambers like Vehari, Khanewal, Okawa, and Jhelum. CIPE Pakistan has advocating at different intervals to the top leadership of these chambers to bring young blood into the top executive positions, which is now bearing fruit after 8 year of capacity building efforts.
During the two day conference following topics were discussed:
- Key challenges faced by Secretary Generals in Pakistan.
- Generic roles of a Chamber/Association
- Vision and mission, is this just a document?
- Defining 21st century Chambers and Association
- How Secretary Generals can build strong organizations through effective HR
- Effective financial management and dealing with donor grants
- Panel discussion on litigation processes, objection and challenges on annual review report, membership development, and international exhibition
The CIPE Pakistan team will keep up a continuous interaction with these chambers and association throughout the year to keep an eye on the impact. Through this platform, Secretary Generals also interact with each other via social media and through the BSO Forum. The idea of developing a forum exclusively for business association was first conceived at the secretary generals’ conference.
Huzaifa Shabbir Hussain is Assistant Program Manager at CIPE Pakistan.