Pak­istan’s econ­omy

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SUMAIYA FAYYAZ

Decades of in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal dis­putes and low lev­els of for­eign in vest­ment have led to slow growth and un­der­de­vel­op­ment in Pak­istan. Agri­cul­ture ac­counts for more than one-fifth of out­put and two-fifths of em­ploy­ment. Tex­tiles ac­count for most of Pak­istan’s ex­port earn­ings, and Pak­istan’s fail­ure to ex­pand a vi­able ex­port base for other man­u­fac­tures has left the coun­try vul­ner­a­ble to shifts in world de­mand. Of­fi­cial un­em­ploy­ment was 6.6% in 2013, but this fails to cap­ture the true pic­ture, be­cause much of the econ­omy is in­for­mal and un­der­em­ploy­ment re­mains high. Over the past few years, low growth and high in­fla­tion, led by a spurt in food prices, have in­creased the amount of poverty. As a re­sult of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity, the Pak­istani ru­pee has de­pre­ci­ated more than 40% since 2007. The gov­ern­ment agreed to an In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund Standby Ar­range­ment in Novem­ber 2008 in re­sponse to a bal­ance of pay­ments cri­sis. Although the econ­omy has sta­bi­lized since the cri­sis, it has failed to re­cover. For­eign in­vest­ment has not re­turned, due to in­vestor con­cerns. It’s high time for gov­ern­ment to over look on these facts and work hard to make Pak­istan strong. — Karachi

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