* Originally posted on April 05, 2013.
The Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia facebook page announced today,
Zubair Ahmed Malik has been elected unopposed as the president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in the annual elections for the year 2013. He was nominated by the Businessmen Panel Group and has been former president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004.
Zubair, in red dress in the above photo, is a friend since 2004, when I first participated in EFN Asia annual conference in Hong Kong. I would see him yearly since then, except in 2007 and 2008 where I was not invited. The country director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) in Pakistan, Olaf Kellerhoff, is very proud of this feat by Zubair. Olaf is also a friend of mine, he’s a giant, could be 6’10” or almost 7 footer in height.
In the 2010 EFN Asia Conference in Jakarta, Zubair was one of the panel speakers. And I was one of the panel moderators and he was on my panel. Below are portions of my introduction of the panel before I gave the floor to him and his co-speaker, Aco Patunru from Indonesia.
These three graphs I developed then, simply show three things. (1) in the absence of people mobility and free trade across countries, there is widespread disequilibrium and disparity in wages among people worldwide. With (2) freer mobility of people and goods across countries and continents, the average wage in rich countries and in poorer countries tend to narrow down. And (3) if full free trade of goods, services and people happen, this gap will become even more narrow, the world will approach the commodity price equalization (CPE) theorem.
Then I introduced the two speakers. Aco Patunru is young, very articulate, very intelligent. I first met him in 2006 during the EFN Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur. He spoke on the panel on international trade and when he was asked during the open forum what to do with the stalled multilateral talks at the WTO, he said one solution is unilateral trade liberalization by countries.. Many in the audience, me included, gave him a loud applause for his frank and direct answer.
Then I introduced Zubair. By profession, he is a businessman, a successful entrepreneur and hence, fully appreciates the value of free enterprise, free market and individual freedom.