KARACHI: Having participation from eminent speakers from IFAC, CAPA, SAFA, World Bank, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and Institute of Cost and Management Accountant of Pakistan (ICMAP) jointly hosted the 3rd Financial Reform for Economic Development (FRED) here at a local hotel in Karachi.
FRED forum started as a joint initiative of the World Bank and the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), under the support and endorsement of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The partnership has subsequently embraced the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) and the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) in order to deliver FRED throughout the region. The 1st and 2nd FRED were held in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, respectively.
The theme of the forum this year is ‘Maximizing Private Sector Finance and Solutions for Development, Role of the Accountancy Profession’. The forum is a continuation of FRED II, which probed into ways of strengthening public financial management, as an essential pillar to create conditions conducive to the flow of private capital, domestic and foreign, into productive investments and to reduce illicit financial flows.
FRED Forum 2018 explored how the accountancy profession is gearing up to meet the new demands of the augmented role of the private sector in providing finance and solutions for development. Four Plenary sessions were held: Fostering an Enabling Environment – Private Sector Investments for Development, Gearing for the Future – New Skills for the Profession, Building Investor Trust through Effective Public Sector Institutions – Impact on the Accountancy Profession, and Regional Priorities FRED a forum for growth.
Mr. Manoj Fandis, President CAPA said ‘CAPA looks forward to a stronger, sustainable accountancy profession that will remain relevant and is future ready – a vision that we all can contribute towards.
In her address, chief guest Dr Shamshad Akhtar, former caretaker finance minister and Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, has said a draft for the reforms of Pakistan’s capital market was prepared during the caretaker set up and the authorities are now finalizing it for the broad reforms to be introduced in the capital market to make it vibrant sources of resource mobilization.
Addressing at third FRED forum, Dr Akhtar said that the financial crisis of 2008 has brought at the forefront the significance of ethical, transparency and auditing practices. “Quality of auditing for me is critical for the soundness of economy, business, corporate and stability of the finance systems.”
Dr Shamshad Akhtar stressed for enhancing efficiency of country’s tax system saying the existing potential is less than the half of what the country is collecting. “The country can easily increase the current tax to GDP ratio to 22-23 percent. The steps must be taken to reduce the avoidance of taxes”, she added.
Earlier in his opening remarks, President ICAP Riaz A. Rehman Chamdia highlighted the importance of auditing and accounting for the development and resources mobilization of country’s economic system so that the confidence of investors’ is built. The theme of the conference is not only important for Pakistan but for the region as well, he added.
“There is need for professionals to build confidence for the better outcome of private public partnerships (PPP) as many governments are now venturing into this kind of investment to materialize their goals”, Chamdia noted.
Mr. James A Brumby, Director Governance Global Practices -World Bank, congratulated new government of Pakistan led by Prime Minister Imran Khan and vowed to continue bank’s support in achieving economic goals.
Highlighting the importance of common global practices in auditing and accounting in mobilizing resources, Brumby said that if the Pakistan slows down to find the ways to face the global challenges it would be laggard in the years to come.
Zia ul Mustafa, president ICMA, said that ICMA Pakistan was playing important role in motivating investors to make informed decision by providing them feasibility studies and educating. “We are giving policy input for trade, monetary, budget making and encouraging private sector to invest in the country”, Mustafa added.
Speaking at the plenary session, Cao Da Khao, Director of Capital Management Department, Electricity of Vietnam, Moonis Alvi, CEO of K-Electric , Moazzam Ahmed , Senior country officer IFC Pakistan and Irshad Kaleemi, Deputy AGP Pakistan highlighted the turnaround their respective departments achieved over the years through reforms and good practices. They unanimously called for consistent government policies and one tier of regulations at all level.
Riaz A. Rehman Chamdia, President ICAP concluded the Conference by thanking the World Bank, SAFA, CAPA and other foreign delegates. News Desk