Friday, April 29, 2016

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal Pakistan is conducting the nationwide Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan.

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal Pakistan is conducting the nationwide Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan. This process has started from early February and will be completed by the mid of May 2016.
EOS 2016

The Executive Opinion Survey, “The Voice of the Business Community”, is a major component of The Global Competitiveness Report and provides the key ingredient that turns the Report into a representative annual measure of a nation’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth.

The survey gathers valuable information on a broad range of variables for which hard data sources are scarce or non-existent. This is the longest-running and most extensive survey of business conditions worldwide, capturing issues that are highly relevant to national competitiveness. These include the state of an economy’s institutions, business environment, macroeconomic environment, technological advancement, human resources, health, education and infrastructure.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal Pakistan notes that it is vitally important for each Survey respondent to complete the Survey assessing the country in which the executive is located and based on an international comparison. Jahangir said, Pakistan showcased improvements of three ranks by attaining the global rank of 126 in 2015 as compared to 129 in 2014 among 140 countries. It showed improvements on more than 70 indicators, as compared to 40, where it lost its global rankings.

The Executive Opinion Survey results measure the situation in the country in international comparison. Top business executives contributing to the economy of Pakistan will be surveyed to capture their opinion on the business environment in which they operate.

The Global Competitiveness Report has been the World Economic Forum’s flagship publication since 1979 and is widely recognized as the world’s leading cross-country comparison of factors affecting economic competitiveness and growth.

A sample of company executives in Pakistan will be asked to complete this important and confidential survey. The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017will be published in September 2016.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks, World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating the soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges. As a partner institute Mishal has been working closely with the World Economic Forum on measuring Pakistan’s performance on multiple international indices and reports i.e. Global Competitiveness Index, Global Gender Gap Index, Global Enabling Trade Index, Global Information Technology Report – Network Readiness Index, Financial Development Index and the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pakistan Academy of Sciences Emphasizes on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research

Pakistan Academy of Sciences Emphasizes on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research.

Dual Use Education and Biosecurity related issues addressed in PAS during “Regional Workshop on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research”

Due to the fast pace of research in life sciences there is a need to develop skills of scientists and researchers to combat biological threats within the region by providing training on biosecurity, biosafety, pathogen surveillance, and infectious disease surveillance and disaster response. With a view of the above the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS)  facilitated the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) and the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), in organizing a three days Regional Workshop on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research on April 26 - 28 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Speakers in their detailed presentations highlighted the risks associated with transboundary pathogens and also suggested viable solutions. Chief Organizer of the workshop, Dr. Zabta K. Shinwari, Secretary General, informed that development of genetic engineering and bioscience technologies have raised a risk of bioterrorism and toxic pathogens that released from our laboratories and industries. 

Dr. Khalid Banuri, Director General (ACDA), raised the point in his speech that the issue of dual-use science is not new. The best known example may be nuclear science, which can be used to produce energy (a peaceful purpose) or nuclear bombs. He also mentioned that Likely threat to Pakistan can emerge from the use of biological weapons by Non-State Actors and by the accidental release of any Bio agents. He is of the view that Pakistan has always encouraged strengthening of national/ international institutional efforts to counter potential misuse of bio technology.  In support of his point, Dr. Sana Zahoor, Assistant Professor, VU added that research with highly pathogenic microorganisms, like H5N1 influenza, anthrax among others, could derive into a serious biological threat to a population or even terrorism. Dr. Nabil Qassem Hailat, Professor, JUST suggested that a regional laboratory could be used to safely and accurately diagnose transboundary diseases as an optimal solution for monitoring transboundary animal diseases in the region. Students of Quaid e Azam University contributed in the workshop by sharing their research findings through posters.