New synergies at TDAP
Abid Javed Akbar has recently taken over as the new Chief Executive of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Prior to this, he has served on various key positions concerning vital economic decisionmaking during 35 year career. He retired as Federal Secretary to the Government of Pakistan in 2009. He is well-known in the trade and business community for his adaptable and strategically focused style of corporate governance.
He has served as chief executive of three major public sector organizations - Export Promotion Bureau (EPB - now Trade Development Authority - TDAP) as its Vice Chairman/CE, as Chairman, National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) and as Chairman, Pakistan Reinsurance (Pak Re).
Abid Javed Akbar was responsible for the resource mobilization, corporate planning and governance of these organizations and worked on coherent plans for redefining the strategic direction and focus in light of, priorities established by Trade Policy 2004, and Insurance Reforms Order 2006. He periodically reported progress to the Federal Cabinet of Ministers through the Ministry of Commerce for review and approval.
He was involved with the International Business Development & Export Promotion sector for 20 years in various capacities, including that of Vice Chairman and CEO, Export Promotion Bureau. He worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for an improved focus of the organization through Change Management, ensuring its constant adjustment to the emerging private sector demands, henceforth restructuring TDAP for better delivery and response. He established Pakistan Export Finance Guarantee Agency (PEFGA) in 2004 for better export finance. Mr Abid collaborated with the EU commission in TRTA program to foster trade capacity, joined by International Trade Center (ITC) for better WTO negotiations and Market Access, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for Intellectual property and UNIDO for trade standards and quality.
Globalization and liberalization added new dimensions to his job assignment such as identification and analysis of tariff/non-tariff barriers, inputs for multi-lateral trade negotiations, etc. He led the team which negotiated for FTAs with Sri Lanka and China.
Abid Javed was able to replicate his success in other areas as well by designing export sales marketing strategies at the national level, keeping in perspective strategic management goals, encouragement of entrepreneurial capabilities and capacity building of Pakistani traders. For the first time, concept of Supply Chain Management in various sectors of the industry was recognized in the EPB and services and advice were accordingly rendered. Export targets to 37 trade offices abroad were assigned through an extensive and unique exercise based on import size requirements of host market, their standards, export surplus, etc. In his 9 years’ experience as commercial representative abroad at Harare/ Pretoria, UAE, and Los Angeles, he utilized his efforts to ensure sustainability and dynamism for innovation in trade development.
He associated with public sector Insurance at the highest level, during his charge of three years and equity and reserves of NICL rose substantially to Rs. 19 billions, making it the largest general insurance company in the country and the lead risk capacity provider. Micro-insurance products in association with AIG, USA were introduced. The landmark and pioneering achievement, however, was putting together a national scheme of Crop Insurance fully backed by the world’s top reinsurers, Swiss Re, at the most competitive and affordable rates. He also developed Insurance products with political risk guarantee from ADB.
Some of his key assignments included serving as Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Commerce for 3 years and Joint Secretary, External Finance, for 2 years, R&D assignments as DG, Institute of Foreign Trade, monitoring Bank of Punjab (BOP), National Accounts and FE Reserves, budgeting for import of essential commodities such as wheat, Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) and fertilizers, Documentation and discussions with IMF and World Bank at technical level, negotiating terms of project financing with foreign banks and financial institutions and also helping in securing foreign private investment.