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Role of women in business highlighted at Commonwealth function Australian High Commissioner Tim George celebrates successful

Islamabad: Australian High Commissioner Tim George highlighted the role of the Commonwealth in promoting women in business, at a reception in Islamabad on Monday 12 December 2011.

Australia assumed the role of Commonwealth Chair recently at the highly successful Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Perth in October 2011, in which Pakistan participated strongly led by Prime Minister Gilani.

“As Chair of the Commonwealth until 2012, Australia is committed to promoting the role of women in business,” Mr George said. “One of the important outcomes of CHOGM was leaders agreeing that steps need to be taken to mainstream gender equality across all Commonwealth work.”

High Commissioner George welcomed the visit to Pakistan of Ms Freda Miriklis (President, International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International)), who along with Mr Arif Zaman (Adviser South Asia, Commonwealth Business Council)), was instrumental in reforming the Commonwealth Women’s Business Network (CWBN) in Perth. Ms Miriklis’s visited Pakistan as a first step to reinvigorate the CWBN.

A report submitted to CHOGM leaders by the CBC showed that women own up to 39% of private businesses in the formal economy but have not penetrated the global supply chain, are underrepresented on boards, and lack access to finance. As Commonwealth Chair, Australia is eager to work with the CWBN to strengthen the participation of women in senior roles.

High Commissioner George expressed hope that Ms Miriklis’s visit would help identify opportunities for Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, to do business with firms managed by Pakistani women. High Commissioner George also noted the particular focus on women and girls within Australia’s aid program in Pakistan.

Speaking on behalf of the CBC, Arif Zaman welcomed the Australian High Commission’s support. It was important to build on the momentum created by the success of the CBF in Perth to support business opportunities here in Pakistan and beyond. The CBC thought now was a crucial period for the Commonwealth and the world economy, and was looking forward to working with Australia as Commonwealth Chair.

For more information, contact:
Australian High Commission
Constitution Ave and Ispahani Rd,
Diplomatic Enclave No. 1, Sector G-5/4, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 835 5500
Fax: +9251 282 0112

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