Pak­istan can be­come world’s 18th largest econ­omy by 2050

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Pak­istan has the po­ten­tial to be­come the 18th largest econ­omy of the world by 2050, leav­ing be­hind many strong economies, ac­cord­ing to Jim O’Neill, a Bri­tish economist.

Jim O’Neill is fa­mous for coin­ing the term BRIC - Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia and China in 2001, an­a­lyz­ing their po­ten­tial to be­come the world’s pow­er­ful economies. BRIC has now pro­gressed to be­ing known as ‘BRICS’. The ‘S’ in the nomen­cla­ture stands for South Africa.

Jim O’Neill has now come up with a new term MINT - Mex­ico, In­done­sia, Nige­ria and Turkey, pro­ject­ing their economies in the com­ing decades.

Ac­cord­ing to his pro­jec­tions for 2050, Pak­istan would be­come the 18th largest econ­omy in the world by 2050 with a GDP of US$ 3.33 tril­lion (almost the same size as the cur­rent Ger­man econ­omy).

Cur­rently, Pak­istan stands at the 44th largest econ­omy in the world with a GDP of US$ 225.14 bil­lion. This means that, if O’Neill’s pro­jec­tions are cor­rect, Pak­istan’s econ­omy would grow 15 times in the next 35 years or so.

If Mex­ico, In­done­sia, Nige­ria and Turkey get their act to­gether, some of them could match Chi­nese-style dou­ble-digit rates.

Some­thing else three of them share is that they all have ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tions that should be an ad­van­tage as pat­terns of world trade change.

For ex­am­ple, Mex­ico is next door to the US, but also Latin Amer­ica. In­done­sia is in the heart of South-east Asia but also has d deep con­nec­tion­sti with ith China.Chi And Ad Turkey is in both the West and East.

Nige­ria is not re­ally sim­i­lar in this re­gard for now, partly be­cause of Africa’s lack of de­vel­op­ment, but it could be in the fu­ture if African coun­tries stop fight­ing and trade with each other.

This might, in fact be the ba­sis for the MINT coun­tries de­vel­op­ing their own eco­nomic-po­lit­i­cal club just as the BRICS coun­tries have done - one of the big­gest sur­prises of the whole BRICS thing.

This was some­thing the charis­matic Nige­rian economist, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was keen to talk about: “We know our time will come,” she said. “We think they are miss­ing some­thing by not hav­ing us.”

Mex­i­can Economist Meade Kuri­brena went so far as to sug­gest that, as a group of four coun­tries, the MINTS have more in common than the BRICS. “I am not sure about that, but it is an in­ter­est­ing idea,” he said.

Eco­nom­i­cally three of them - Mex­ico, In­done­sia and Nige­ria - are com­mod­ity pro­duc­ers and only Turkey isn’t. This con­trasts with the BRICS coun­tries where two - Brazil and Rus­sia - are com­mod­ity pro­duc­ers and the other two - China and In­dia - aren’t.

In terms of wealth, Mex­ico and Turkey are at about the same level, earn­ing an­nu­ally about $10,000 (6,100) per head. This com­pares with $3,500 (2,100) per head in In­done­sia and $1,500 (900) per head in Nige­ria, which is on a par with In­dia. They are a bit be­hind Rus­sia - $14,000 (8,500) per head - and Brazil on $11,300 (6,800), but still a bit ahead of China - $6,000 (3,600).

In­done­sia’s chal­lenges are big and the coun­try needs more of a sense of com­mer­cial pur­pose beyond com­modi­ties, and has to im­prove its in­fra­struc­ture.

In Turkey, white goods man­u­fac­turer Beko and Turk­ish Air­lines, the world’s fastest grow­ing air­line, are im­pres­sive.

Sort­ing out en­ergy pol­icy was seen in both Mex­ico and Nige­ria as a top pri­or­ity and each coun­try has launched a ma­jor ini­tia­tives, which if im­ple­mented, will ac­cel­er­ate growth rates sig­nif­i­cantly.

In In­done­sia, the fourth largest coun­try in the world, lead­er­ship and in­fra­struc­ture were the ma­jor chal­lenges, though there were many more too. But chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties sit side by side.

In one of Jakarta’s slum ar­eas, Pluit, the land is sink­ing by 20cm per year be­cause of over-ex­trac­tion of wa­ter, but prop­erty prices else­where in the city are rock­et­ing.

So, the MINTS can join the top 10 largest economies in the world, though it may take 30 years.

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