Zafar Masud in Discussion with Nauraiz Rana of New Wave Global — Video Podcast

Zafar Masud in Discussion with Nauraiz Rana of New Wave Global delves into Pakistan’s financial landscape

Crunching Numbers and Seizing Second Chances: Can Pakistan’s Fiscal Future Spark a Better Tomorrow?

Zafar Masud, CEO – Bank of Punjab, engages with Nauraiz Rana – Economist, World Bank, and delves into Pakistan’s financial landscape, focusing on crucial topics such as the impact of devolution, the challenges of tax collection, and the potential for financial inclusion in the country.

Moreover, he offers a sneak peek into his forthcoming book, where he shares ten invaluable life lessons. Discover insights into Pakistan’s financial transformation and the wisdom to shape a brighter future.

The video podcast reproduced above was originally posted on New Wave Global YouTube Channel on October 23, 2023.

Summary of the Video Podcast

Nauraiz Rana began the discussion by highlighting the high cost of doing business in Pakistan. He noted that Pakistan ranks 147 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, which means that it is relatively expensive and time-consuming to start and operate a business in the country. This is a major challenge for Pakistani businesses, as it can make them less competitive in the global marketplace.

Rana also discussed the inefficient bureaucracy in Pakistan. He noted that the bureaucracy can be slow and unresponsive, which can make it difficult for businesses to get things done. This can be a major frustration for businesses, and it can also lead to delays and lost opportunities.

Another challenge facing Pakistani businesses is the lack of access to finance. Rana noted that many businesses in Pakistan struggle to access loans and other forms of financing, which can hinder their growth. This is a particular problem for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which often lack the collateral required to obtain loans from traditional banks.

Rana also discussed the problem of corruption in Pakistan. He noted that corruption can discourage businesses from investing and operating in the country. Corruption can also lead to higher costs for businesses, as they may have to pay bribes to government officials in order to get things done.

Finally, Rana discussed the unreliable infrastructure in Pakistan. He noted that Pakistan’s power, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructure are often unreliable, which can make it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently. This can lead to lost productivity and higher costs for businesses.

Zafar Masud then discussed the government’s priorities for addressing these challenges. He noted that the government is working to reduce the cost of doing business by simplifying procedures and improving the efficiency of the bureaucracy. The government is also working to improve access to finance by providing guarantees and other financial incentives to businesses. In addition, the government is working to fight corruption by strengthening the anti-corruption institutions and by increasing transparency and accountability. Finally, the government is investing in infrastructure projects to improve the reliability of power, telecommunications, and transportation.

Masud also discussed what businesses can do to overcome these challenges. He suggested that businesses can form partnerships with other businesses to pool their resources and expertise. Businesses can also invest in technology to improve their efficiency and productivity. Additionally, businesses can expand into new markets to reduce their reliance on the Pakistani market, which is often volatile. Finally, businesses can build relationships with the government to advocate for policies that are favorable to business growth.

Overall, the discussion between Nauraiz Rana and Zafar Masud highlighted the significant challenges facing the Pakistani business community. However, it also highlighted the government’s commitment to addressing these challenges and the steps that businesses can take to overcome them. By working together, the government and the business community can create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to Pakistan’s economic growth.

Who is Zafar Masud?

Zafar Masud is the CEO and President of the Bank of Punjab, one of the largest banks in Pakistan. He is a respected business leader with over 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. Masud is also a member of the Board of Directors of several leading Pakistani companies.

Masud is a strong advocate for the Pakistani business community. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written extensively on the challenges and opportunities facing Pakistani businesses. Masud is a passionate believer in the power of businesses to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Who is Ahmed Nauraiz Rana?

Ahmed Nauraiz Rana is an Economist at the World Bank Group. He is based in Washington, D.C. and works on the Global Business Regulation team. His work focuses on the design and implementation of investment climate reforms aimed at creating an enabling environment conducive for poverty reduction and business-led growth.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Ahmed worked with the IFC and UNDP on areas of private sector development focusing on employment, entrepreneurship, and market creation with cross cutting emphasis on gender mainstreaming and digitalization. He has published several reports and papers on these topics.

Ahmed holds a dual-degree Masters in Economic Development and Public Policy from Columbia University, and the London School of Economics. He holds a Bachelor’s in Economics and Finance from the University of Waterloo.

Ahmed is a passionate advocate for economic development and poverty reduction. He believes that investment climate reforms are essential for creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. He is also committed to promoting gender equality and digital inclusion in development.

What is New Wave Global?

New Wave Global aims to narrate stories from Pakistan, South Asia and the diasporas in the United States and Europe. Its primary aim is to engage with audiences in the regional and global contexts highlighting issues of today – democracy, human rights, climate change, social justice and the economic inequities.

In the twenty first century, our lives and futures are intertwined. To address the challenges of today we need informed citizenries both at the national and international levels. Another objective of this channel is to give voice to the Pakistani diaspora in United States and Europe, their contributions to and engagement with their new home countries and the countries of their origin.

New Wave is an initiative of Public Broadcasting Network Inc. and works in collaboration with Naya Daur Media, The Friday Times, SAPAN News Network and other media outlets, research outfits, academic institutions and civil society groups in South Asia and the United States.

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