Economic booting By Abdul Moiz Dar

Economic booting By Abdul Moiz Dar

WHILE Pakistan has been teetering on the brink of economic collapse, it survives with the succor of its allies. While little chances of survival loom large, it has managed to sail through a difficult economic terrain. While there has been significant political hullabaloo, the country reaches the critical threshold appertaining to its future. The economic statistics herald: total public debt and liabilities amounting to Rs: 62.881 trillion, constituting 74% of total GDP and foreign reserves standing at $9 billion. With the formation of present coalition government, efforts to ensure economic buoyancy have been stepped up ever since.

In a joint effort, the government established SIFC to mobilize local and foreign investment. In a surprising turn of events, Pakistan and IMF concluded a stand-by agreement, providing Pakistan with $3 billion. Notably, Saudi delegation visited Pakistan, oozing commitment to invest in 25 doable projects. Relying solely on foreign aid has been our economic mainstay, while local production lies hidden somewhere in the undergrowth. Though, considerable foreign investment is on the horizon, Pakistan must focus on energizing local production. Here are enlisted areas demanding immediate tinkering: energy, IT, pharmaceutical, edible fruits, leather goods, dairy products, meats and seafood.

Recent data released by State Bank of Pakistan reads significant growth of exports to Middle East – to the tune of $1.257 billion in the first five months of current fiscal year against $974.50m from a year ago. Fields of export like rice, textile materials, and tents have been Pakistan’s forte. However, the need to direct focus on IT, pharmaceutical, edible fruits, dairy products, meats and seafood is hereby accented. Now, Middle East enters Tech Revolution, having recognized its immeasurable potential. And, Pakistan boasts a young and rapidly growing population, with a noteworthy portion demonstrating strong technical skills. With an eye to having symbiosis with ME, Pakistan must put up its whopping 300,000 available pool of IT experts.

Having assimilated its potential into ME, Pakistan not only best utilizes its youth but it also gains substantial financial support. Moreover, the forum of SIFC needs to be deployed. Notwithstanding it has showcased remarkable capability to obviate economic stagnation, there is yet many more to be done to see through our commitments. Another prospective economic sinew is CPEC. CPEC possess immeasurable potential to bolster economy.

However, peace and global political scenario matter a lot in leveraging CPEC. Besides discussion about economic perspectives, there, too, lies peace to be discussed. Pakistan is in the throes of terrorism, as terror attacks crop up each day. However, there is needed to curb terror first. At last, this is not the first time that foreign investment is echoing, however, the need lies in its intelligent deployment. As direly is needed foreign investment, so also is accent on local production.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Gujranwala.


Economic booting By Abdul Moiz Dar


April 25, 2024

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