On 19 and 20 February 2018, the 7th meeting of the South Asian Forum of Employers (SAFE), was held in Karachi, Pakistan. The meeting was exceptionally well organised by the hosts of the Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP). Representatives of the six employers’ organisations co-operating in SAFE participated.
Members felt the need to strengthen the SAFE structure, that up to now was informal: the EFP President Majyd Aziz was elected as the first SAFE President at a ceremonial meeting in the Sindh Governor’s House, together with EFC DG Kanishka Weerasinghe as his Vice-President. They will serve for a two-year term (2018/2019). EFP will take care of the SAFE secretariat during that period. The 7th meeting exchanged information on activities and best practices, and discussed expanding services to member firms, sustainable enterprise and DECP support for the 2018/22 period.
In the evening of the first day a successful ’conclave’ was organised between SAFE members and the members of EFP, in the presence of Sindh Governor Zubair.
SAFE will devote its next meeting (11 and 12 February 2018 in Delhi; hosted by the Indian EOs) to the ‘migration’ issue, that will be prepared by the Bangladesh BEF and the Nepalese FNCCI. All partners in SAFE are confronted with the effects of migration in the region, that now is at the level of around a million workers. They migrated to the Gulf, Malaysia, Korea, Europe and elsewhere, and bring in valuable hard currencies, but at the same time create a lack of qualified manpower in their home countries.