PROFILE, ACHIEVEMENTS & INITIATIVES
The Pakistan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1955 and participated actively in ICC affairs. In 1960 the PNC-ICC hosted the International Businessmen’s Conference at Karachi under the auspices of the Commission on Asian and Far Eastern Affairs of the International Chamber of Commerce (CAFEA - ICC). ICC Pakistan is a consultative body to senior policy makers and provides guidelines and information, which help to facilitate legislation allowing for the development of a conducive and enabling environment for direct investments and international trade.
The Founder Chairman of the Pakistan National Committee was Mr. Mohammed Aly Rangoonwala. In 1981 Mr. M. A. Rangoonwala became the Chairman of the ICC in Paris. At the time Mr. Ameen Tareen was the Secretary General of the Pakistan National Committee. Others who chaired the Pakistan National Committee subsequently were Mr. N. M. Uqaili and Mr. A. G. Adamjee. In 1999 on the request of ICC in Paris the ICC National Committee in Pakistan was revived by Mr. Tariq M. A. Rangoonwala who was then asked to be the Chairman with Mr. Zia Khaleeli as the Secretary General. During its revival process it was registered as per appropriate legal advice as an Association of Persons (AOP) operating under a ICC National Committee Constitution. The Pakistan National Committee is a non-profit organization.
The PNC-ICC was reorganized and reconfirmed at the ICC’s 178th World Council Meeting in Paris in November 1999. Since then ICC Pakistan has become an active forum for enhancing the role and interests of the local and international business communities by promoting policies and reform initiatives to facilitate foreign direct investment and trade. Members of ICC Pakistan are representatives of established private sector organizations having a diverse range of business, professional and philanthropic interests with extensive experience in Pakistan and overseas retaining corporatorized public sector firms, a regulatory agency and selected chambers of commerce amongst its membership.
ICC Pakistan’s immediate goals are to promote appropriate reform legislation and to impart training of ICC rules and practices. In February 2002 ICC Pakistan hosted the ICC Regional Foreign Direct Investment Conference with the theme "An Emerging Crossroad for Trade & Investment". This was attended by members of the local, regional and international business communities as well as Federal and Provincial Ministers, officials of foreign governments, representatives of IGOs, diplomats and senior members of the legal community. The conference covered Privatization, Deregulation and Liberalization; Energy; IT, E-Commerce and Telecommunications; Transport, Shipping and Logistics; IPR and Copyright, and Arbitration.
ICC Pakistan is active not only for ICC related initiatives but also other reform initiatives in Pakistan. The current list of combined initiatives is as follows:
1. The ratification and enforcement of the New York Convention 1958 for foreign arbitral award enforcement on a reciprocal basis. In this regard the Government of Pakistan formed a Committee for Updation and Development of Laws on Arbitration. ICC Pakistan obtained a Federal Cabinet resolution for ratification in June 2002. A Bill known as the Bill for the Foreign Arbitral Award Enforcement was introduced in the National Legislature for passage and subsequent enforcement. This was promulgated as Ordinance No. LVIII of 2007 "An Ordinance to provide for the recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards". It has now become a law and the courts in Pakistan have already enforced it in several cases hence effectively preventing any local court impediments to international arbitration agreements. In order to receive effective support of government, legal community and both foreign and local business communities ICC Pakistan hosted an Arbitration Conference with the theme "The Right Formula – International Arbitration" on November 23, 2005 at Karachi which was attended by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, senior members of the judiciary both from the Supreme Court and the Provincial High Courts. It was also attended by senior jurists and arbitrators from the UK, Canada, Malaysia and India.
2. In order to facilitate transit trade and exhibitions ICC Pakistan has been appointed as the National Guaranteeing Organization in Pakistan for the ATA Carnet System under the Istanbul Convention and the TIR Carnet System under the International Road Transport Union (IRU) governed TIR Convention. The ATA Carnet System is governed by the WATAC secretariat of the World Chambers Federation a division of ICC. The Pakistan Federal Cabinet in June 2002 approved the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and completed the accession process in June 2004. ATA Carnets are now being accepted by Pakistan Customs under the Istanbul Convention annexures A, B1 & B2 effective 1st October 2007.
3. ICC Pakistan has had extensive interaction to support and promote a comprehensive proposal document for the establishment of the Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Commission (PIPRC) along with a Stand Alone Law (SAL). This proposal document was prepared by all stakeholders including the Business Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association. The Government of Pakistan has now established a Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Organization (PIPRO). The proposal document also envisaged a special Task Force for the comprehensive enforcement of copyrights in Pakistan. It also included the combining of Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights under a single authority. ICC Pakistan has recently established the Pakistan Country Gateway for the ICC's BASCAP (Business Alliance to Stop Counterfeiting And Piracy) initiative details of which can be found on http://www.iccwbo.org/bascap/id7129/index.html
4. ICC Pakistan has strategically interacted to provide business guidelines to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in terms of its Deregulation Policy and recommended the auction of telecom spectrum licenses and in this regard meetings were facilitated for the PTA by ICC Pakistan in Europe with various telecom deregulation advocacy groups. ICC Pakistan was invited to be a referee at its first auction of telecom licenses which netted US $580 million. This resulted in the telecom boom in Pakistan. During this time the PTA being a member of ICC Pakistan we facilitated interaction with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with whom ICC has organizational links internationally. ICC Pakistan members are also active as legal consultants to WSIS.
5. The ICC Pakistan Chairman was appointed to head the Consumer Protection Body by the Governor of Sindh in 2003 for drafting the Consumer Protection Ordinance for the Sindh Province, which envisaged the establishment of Consumer Protection Courts. The Consumer Protection Ordinance was approved and promulgated in keeping with the Access to Justice Program of the Ministry of Law which was to be funded by the Asian Development Bank. With the implementation of the Consumer Protection Law several government inspectorates such as the Bureau of Supply and Prices, and the Department of Weights and Measures were consequently abolished. The law is still in the form of an ordinance and is pending for legislative enactment by the Sindh Provincial legislature.
6. In the area of banking ICC’s Incoterms 2000 has been incorporated in the Foreign Exchange Manual of the State Bank of Pakistan with an amendment to the Foreign Exchange Control Act. In addition to this, seminars and workshops on Uniform Customs Practices UCP500, UCP 600 and International Standard Banking Practices (ISBP) have been conducted in Pakistan with foreign and local experts. ICC Pakistan has in the recent past convened technical workshops on UCP600, ATA Carnet, Trade & Financial Fraud Prevention and URDG 758. ICC Pakistan is scheduled to convene a training workshop on the upcoming revision of ‘Incoterms 2010’ later this year.
7. The Certified Documentary Credits Specialist (CDCS) examination were organized by ICC Pakistan and held in Pakistan for the first time during the year 2003. ICC Pakistan is actively promoting the CDCS examinations in Pakistan.
8. Interaction with Transparency International, the National Accountability Bureau and the Board Of Investment had been initiated to recommend to the Government of Pakistan anti-corruption legislation as envisaged by the OECD Convention and the UN Convention on Anti-Corruption, which are supported by ICC.
9. ICC Pakistan retains official interaction with the Ministry of Commerce, Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Law and Board Of Investment of the Government of Pakistan.
10. ICC Pakistan hosted the first post 9/11 Foreign Direct Investment Conference in February 2002 which was widely attended by not only major decision makers of the business community but also all relevant Federal and Provincial Ministers. This conference was known as the ICC Regional Foreign Direct Investment “An Emerging Crossroad for Trade and Investment” and had the objective of advocating International Arbitration and Arbitral Award Enforcement; Intellectual Property Rights; Privatization, Deregulation and Liberalization; E-Business, IT & Telecom and Transit Trade Facilitation. In each of these subjects we not only had interacted at the highest levels but actually advocated and presented specific laws for their legislation and implementation, which we pursued assiduously and objectively hence setting out specific goals to provide tangible results. The Karachi Business Declaration consequent to the ICC Regional FDI Conference forms the core basis of the reforms advocated by the Pakistan National Committee.
11. Pakistan is represented at the ICC International Court of Arbitration by a member of ICC Pakistan who has also been a senior legal counsel to the Government of Pakistan.
12. Members of ICC Pakistan are part of ICC Commissions in Paris in the areas of Banking, EBITT, Transport and Arbitration. The E-Business, IT & Telecom (E-BITT) Commission of ICC Pakistan have been extensively involved in advocating, lobbying and providing its insight, input and various legislations being drafted by the Government of Pakistan. These include the elective enablement provisions of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 2005, Sea Carriage Documents Act 2005, International Carriage by Air Act 2005, Carriage by Road Act 2005. More specifically the ICC Pakistan E-BITT Commission has provided integral feedback, comments and assistance to the government with regard to the drafts of the E-Crimes Act 2005, the Electronic Data Protection Act 2005, the E-Payment Systems and Funds Transfer Act 2005 and the Amendments to the Telecommunication Act 1996.
13. ICC Pakistan is represented in the National Trade & Transport Facilitation Committee of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan. ICC Pakistan is performing the role of facilitator and National Guaranteeing Organization for the stakeholders in the regional trucking industry in Pakistan to implement the TIR Convention in Pakistan. ICC Pakistan is an Associate Member of the Geneva based International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the TIR Commission of ICC Pakistan comprise of logistics and transport companies who need to avail the facilitation for transit trucking in the region under the TIR Commission. ICC Pakistan has been appointed by the Ministry of Commerce as the National Guaranteeing Organization for the TIR Convention which is overseen by the IRU and the UNECE. In this regard ICC Pakistan retains close cooperation with Customs authorities, the Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) and interacts from the forum of the National Trade & Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) with port authorities, CAA and railway authorities besides other private sector stakeholders. More recently ICC Pakistan has acquired 50% shareholding in PAKPRO as a trustee shareholder to facilitate trade and transport on the pattern of SITPRO. This initiative is in its formative stage and seeks the cooperation of both the government agencies and international financial institutions to support interaction with stakeholders in the logistics industry.
14. ICC Pakistan helped to facilitate and initiate the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (DNDRC) in Pakistan as an independent organization, which is now functional and is headed by the Chair of ICC Pakistan's EBITT Commission.
15. ICC Pakistan has incorporated the Karachi International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) with the intention to create a facility for international arbitral proceedings. ICC Pakistan looks for assistance for the development of this facility and has recently granted honorary membership to the Society for Mediation in Pakistan which can serve as an important resource for both know-how and expertise. ICC Pakistan's membership already retains several individuals who have extensive experience in international commercial arbitration.
16. ICC Pakistan has interacted and facilitated the ICC Commercial Crime Services division with regard to Maritime Piracy and Counterfeiting in Pakistan and convened a workshop on "Trade & Financial Fraud Prevention" at Karachi in November 2007. In this regard ICC Pakistan also facilitated the interaction between the Maritime Security Agency (MSA) in Pakistan and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a division of the ICC Commercial Crime Services which has organizational relationships with Interpol, WCO and other international organizations.
17. ICC Pakistan is actively promoting the ICC World Chambers Federation which is the world's largest body for chambers of commerce and is a division of ICC. It is active in the promotion of Electronic Certificates of Origin and Chamber Trust Seals. ICC Pakistan was recently approved as a partner for the Cluster Project of the European Commission's Asia Invest Programme 2006-2007. In this regard ICC Pakistan has amongst its membership the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Sindh).
18. Chairman of ICC Pakistan has served on the ICC Executive Board in Paris for the last six years and remains active in its deliberations.
19. ICC Pakistan advocates a monetarist policy approach to economic management in Pakistan and supports the implementation of full and free capital account convertibility. In terms of taxation ICC Pakistan advocates a direct corporate income tax level of 16% which was part of the Karachi Business Declaration consequent to the ICC Regional FDI Conference held at Karachi on 17-18 February 2005. ICC Pakistan seeks to have a liberal environment in terms of facilitating international cultural norms to attract tourism in order to provide gainful employment and enhanced incomes for many educated unemployed youth.
The Office Bearers and members of the Pakistan National Committee comprise of leading business groups, Banks, insurance companies, multinational companies, public sector companies, regulatory organizations, legal and technical experts. Many amongst our membership are engaged in businesses not only in Pakistan but also overseas. They are also engaged in Pakistan in philanthropic activities in education, vocational training, social welfare and health initiatives all over Pakistan. It is essentially the members and their individual stature that lends great support to reform initiatives being proposed to the Government of Pakistan. In proposing the reform initiatives it is also necessary to develop enabling laws for implementation of reform measures. ICC Pakistan firmly believes in concentrating on achievable and specific measures that would have extensively wide implications for the improvement of the business environment in Pakistan.
For further details on ICC Pakistan please visit www.iccpakistan.com
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