Firms and Growth

Date: 13th January 2020

Venue: State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi

Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in collaboration with the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), the International Growth Center (IGC), and the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR), organized a day-long seminar on “Firms and Growth” at the State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi on 13th January, 2020.

Responding to requests by the Federal and Provincial Governments, researchers based at IGC and CDPR have been actively engaged on the themes of state capacity, firms, cities and energy. The objective of the seminar was to share their research insights with policymakers, think tanks, academics, the private sector, media and the donor community. The seminar was focused on the need for creating an outward looking economy, on issues surrounding macroeconomic stability, on identifying sectoral priorities and opportunities, and on understanding the role of Small Medium Enterprises as drivers of growth.

Moderated session: Moving from an Inward- to an Outward-looking Economy


  • Ijaz Nabi – Country Director, IGC (Moderator)
  • Reza Baqir – Governor, SBP

From Inward to Outward – Changing the orientation of our economy

Opening Speeches:

  • Abdul Hafeez Shaikh – Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue
  • Asad Umar – Federal Minister on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives


  • Ehsan Malik – CEO, PBC
  • Annabel Gerry – Head of Department for International Development (DFID) Pakistan
  • Gonzalo J Varela – Senior Economist, World Bank

Session 1:  Macroeconomic Environment – Setting the Context for Growth

Chair: Mr. Jameel Ahmed – Deputy Governor, SBP

Session 1A – Launch of the Joint PBC and CDPR Study on Preliminary Analysis of Pak-China FTA Phase II

Introduction & Background by: Mr. Ehsan Malik

Presentation by: Ms. Nazish Afraz – Faculty, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Session 1B – Presentations

Presentation: Dr. Ijaz Nabi & Dr. Anjum Nasim (Senior Fellow, IDEAS)

Presentation: Dr. Naved Hamid – Resident Director, IGC


  • Khalid Mahmood – Managing Director and CEO, GETZ Pharma
  • Hasaan Khawar – Development Consultant
  • Syed Salim Raza – Banker and Former Governor SBP

Session 2: Identifying Sectoral Priorities and Opportunities

Chair: Mr. Ehsan Malik – CEO, PBC


Presentation: Mr. Fayyaz Hussain – Economist, Monetary Policy Department, SBP

Presentation: Ms. Nadia Mukhtar – Faculty, LUMS

Presentation: Mr. Usman Khan – Faculty, LUMS


  • Bashir Ali Mohammad – Chairman and CEO of the Gul Ahmed Group
  • Gillian Rogers – Team Lead, Finance, Markets and Jobs (DFID-Pakistan)
  • Khwaja Munir Mashooqulla – President, Synergies Worldwide
  • Saquib H. Shirazi – CEO, Atlas Honda Ltd.

Session 3: The Role of SMEs as Drivers of Growth

Chair: Mr. Syed Samar Husnain – Executive Director, Development Finance Group, SBP


Presentation: Mr. Usman Khan Faculty, LUMS

Presentation: Dr. Ali Choudhary – Research Advisor and Executive Director, SBP


  • Suleman Ghani ,Development Consultant
  • Jehan Ara President, PASHA (Pakistan Software House Association for IT)
  • Ghulam Muhammad Abbasi – Director SBP