A MoU signing ceremony was held in the Mayor’s Office, Peshawar, for the setting up of Economic Development Unit (EDU). MoU Signatories included City District Government Peshawar, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, UN Habitat and PRIME Institute, an Economic Think Tank. Purpose of the EDU is to serve as a platform for the Peshawar Municipality to engage broader stakeholders in the facilitation of economic development of Peshawar. Through EDU, Peshawar Municipality will be striving to attain 3 goals of job creation, investment flow and tax generation.
Mr. Asim Khan, Mayor of Peshawar, welcomed the signatories at his office. He elaborated on the utility of EDU for the economic development of Peshawar. He mentioned that a city needs to create jobs and bring investments for spreading prosperity. He linked the business growth with the increase in tax revenues for the municipality. This tax flow is essential to fund the municipal services and improve upon their quality. In this manner, city livability rises that further enhances economic competitiveness.
Mr. Faiz Muhammad, President Sarhad Chamber, has assured about the commitment of business community of Peshawar in backing the EDU venture. He was of the opinion that EDU will contribute in creating job and business opportunities. He thanked the Mayor of Peshawar for extending his backing for the EDU and engaging broader business community for economic coalition building.
Mr. Jawed Ali Khan, Country Representative of UN Habitat, has defined the role of UN in supporting LED initiatives in Pakistan and other countries. He mentioned that UN Habitat is looking to establish similar EDUs in 10-largest cities of Pakistan. He highlighted the vital role of municipalities in economic development for job creation and investment solicitation. He reiterated his understanding of the utility of EDU in expanding economic horizons of Peshawar.
Mr. Zia Banday, Joint Executive Director of PRIME, has highlighted their involvement in economic-related initiatives for Peshawar. He did mention that this work is line with PTI government vision of empowering and engaging local governments in economic development. EDU mechanics will comprise of a bottom-up approach, whereby Municipality will be contributing to the federal and provincial pro-growth and poverty alleviation agenda. Mr. Banday did inform that EDU will be embarking on its first initiative of preparing an Economic Development Strategy of Peshawar. Based upon this strategy, further LED initiatives will be designed and implemented.
The MoU signing ceremony was attended by a number of Municipal officials and representatives of the business community of Peshawar. Zahid Nadeem, Town-1 Nazim, Shafiq Rehman, Director General Peshawar Municipality and Mr. Haris Mufti, Vice President Sarhad Chamber were also in attendance.