New syn­er­gies at TDAP

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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.

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