GLOBAL COMPACT NETWORK PAKISTAN EMPHASISES UPON INTEGRATED EFFORTS
BY STAKEHOLDERS TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF CORRUPTION IN MARITIME INDUSTRY
(Karachi – 28th December 2022): “Transparency, responsibility, accountability and responsiveness are the four indicators put at the other end of the continuum from corruption to governance which can help address issues of corruption in Maritime Industry”, this was stated by Ms. Alia Shahid, Director General Ports and Shipping who was speaking as the Chief Guest at the Consultative Meeting on Collective Action against Corrupt Practices in Maritime Industry organized by Global Compact Network Pakistan in collaboration with Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN). She further added that massive reforms were underway in improving the regulatory framework, particularly laws relating to seafarers, survey inspection, registration and other issues.
Mr. Wajid Ali, Director General Pakistan Customs Academy in his remarks as Guest of Honour on the occasion stated that Transparency, openness and communication coupled with digitalization and IT initiatives have gone a long way in improving corrupt practices in customs handling. He appreciated the efforts of Global Compact Network Pakistan and MACN in taking up the challenge of collective action by bringing the stakeholders together and working with them to address the challenges and barriers in the way of addressing issues of corruption. He assured that the services of the academy would always be available for supporting the noble cause.
Earlier Mr. Majyd Aziz, President Global Compact Network Pakistan in his video address thanked the stakeholders for showing their interest in developing a collective approach to address the issues of corruption which was causing immense loss to the exchequer and the economy and was the biggest barrier in Pakistan’s growth in the blue economy.
Mr. Mathias Bak, Associate MACN presented an Introduction of MACN and gave an overview of MACN activities in addressing corruption issues in Pakistan in partnership with Global Compact Network Pakistan which was followed by a video presentation on the working of MACN.
Mr. Fasihul Karim Siddiqi, Executive Director Global Compact Network Pakistan gave an overview of the collaborative GCNP/MACN Project and emphasized that an integrated approach of stakeholders through collective action can address the menace of corruption in the Maritime Industry. He said that instead of playing the blame game it was necessary for all stakeholders to make a genuine effort to convert poor practices into best practices so that the Maritime Industry can grow both in size and reputation as a corruption free business.
Mr. Honak Baloch, Additional Collector (Enforcement) Pakistan Customs in his presentation explained about the Port Community System (PCS) as an electronic platform that connects the multiple systems operated by a variety of organizations that make up a seaport, airport or inland port community. Explaining the vision for PCS Pakistan and its services, Mr. Honnak Baloch expressed the hope that initiatives like TRS and PCS under the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) were important to be replicated in other areas for bringing improvement and combatting corruption in the industry.
The session also included a very informative and communicative Panel Discussion in which panelists namely Mr. Bilal ur Rehman, Chairman Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA), Mr. Shams Burney, President All Pakistan Custom Bonded Carrier Association (APCBCA), Mr. Najib Balagamwala, Chairman, Seatrade Group, Mr. Junaid Mahmood, Joint Secretary Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA), Mr. Shahbakht Pirzada, Associate Partner RIAA Barker Gillette and Mr. Tanvir Ahmad, Ex-member Customs and Project Advisor participated. The panelists during their intervention expressed their candid views on the Impact of corruption on cost of doing business, Role of customs agents in improving efficiency, Improving governance in port operations, Gaps in admiralty laws and areas of reforms, Issues and solutions in shortage claims and other areas needing improvement in governance and operations while addressing the challenges of corruption in Maritime Industry. The Panel Discussion was moderated by Mr. Muhammad Akram, Project Manager.
Mr. Jonas Erlandsen, Senior Lead South Asia MACN in his intervention appreciated the efforts of Global Compact Network Pakistan in promoting the collective action agenda in Pakistan. He also gave an overview of success stories in combatting corrupt practices in Nigeria, Egypt and Argentina. He expressed the hope that with the collective action efforts, the Pakistani stakeholders would also succeed in developing success stories in combatting corrupt practices in Pakistan.
Mr. Muhammad Akram, Project Manager presented a Vote of Thanks which was preceded by the Presentation of Mementos to the Guest of Honour and Panelists.