President of Pakistan hails OICCI members’ contribution in social development
58 million direct beneficiaries across Pakistan
Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce (OICC) organised a CSR exhibition in Islamabad titled, “Impactful Journey: OICCI CSR Exhibition”. The purpose of the event was to showcase the impact of CSR activities of OICCI member companies across the country and their alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The OICCI, and its members, are committed to these goals and consider it their responsibility to contribute to the economic and social development of Pakistan.
President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi who was the chief guest at the event, in his address commented, “It is great to learn about the huge impact of foreign investors in social upliftment across the country and about their efforts to improve the lives of our fellow countrymen, the ones who are not as privileged as others.”
The President added “it is important that the private sector joins hands with the government to develop the marginalized communities of the country and in this respect I am thankful to the OICCI member companies who have demonstrated their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility projects that are helping our communities”.
Shazia Syed, President of OICCI thanked the President of Pakistan for his encouraging remarks and stated, “CSR is a part of OICCI members’ DNA. Our member companies are committed to the improvement of the communities in which we operate. It is not a buzzword, it is an integral part of the way we do business. Some of our member companies are functioning in Pakistan since the foundation of the country itself and have initiated a large number of CSR projects that have changed the lives of millions of people over the last several decades.
She highlighted the ‘OICCI Women’ initiative, launched in 2017, which aims to bring all the OICCI members under one umbrella in order to make concerted efforts to achieve inclusion and diversity. The ‘OICCI Women Empowerment Awards’ was launched in 2018 to recognize the top performing OICCI members.
Shazia Syed also mentioned that OICCI member companies from energy sector are striving hard to produce renewable energy at large scale and willing to connect it to the national grid to reduce the burden on the import bill of crude oil for electricity generation.
During 2018-19, the OICCI members, collectively invested over PKR 5.5 billion and reached out to 58 million direct beneficiaries throughout Pakistan. OICCI members were involved with 160 social and development sector organizations and spent around 1,180,000 man-hours in some of the key social development initiatives. As in the past, the CSR activities were spread all over the country with 32% of the CSR activities focused in Sindh, 27% in Punjab, 15% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10% in Baluchistan, and another 16% in FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Secretary General OICCI, M. Abdul Aleem, highlighted that there has been a significant improvement in the sustainability projects initiated and supported by the OICCI members through a proactive engagement between business and all stakeholders. This has resulted in enhancing the quality of services and expanding the number of people impacted by virtue of public private partnerships.
“Our member companies have contributed to social services, in the field of education, healthcare, community development, environment and infrastructure development. The efforts of the private sector to reach out to the underprivileged sections of the population through CSR and sustainability initiatives, is not only becoming more and more visible, but is also being recognized by the civil society,” he added.
At the conclusion, the OICCI Managing Committee presented the ‘OICCI CSR Report 2018-19’ to the Honorable President of Pakistan, and formally launched the annual publication.