Country well-poised to take off in 2016, says Ahsan Iqbal
Due to vibrant and prudent economic polices introduced by the government, Pakistan was well-poised to take off in year 2016 after achieving economic stabilization in the last two and half years. This was stated by the Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the 9th Advisory Committee Meeting of Planning Commission here Tuesday.
He said that visible improvement has been witnessed on various fronts from economy to security in two and half years. However country has various challenges ahead to make it compatible with fast changing business environment internationally to ensure sustained and inclusive growth, he added. He said that efforts are being made to make country's export sector vibrant and more productive and highlighted the structural reforms, required in the export sector and opined that it would not be possible without a liberal trade regime. Minister said that year 2016 is being observed as a year of "Productivity, Quality & Innovation" in the national economy under Vision-2025 for sustainable economic growth.
He particularly laid emphasis on productivity in the economy and underlined the need for creating awareness in public and private sector about productivity as well as quality to make the country's products compatible with international standardization and certification. The minister also stressed to nurture a dynamic innovation culture to make the country's export sector align with the changing requirements in the world. "This initiative is aimed at making "Made in Pakistan" a premier brand in the world", he added.
He also underscored the need to further the growth in industry to produce the surplus production. In agriculture sector, Minister said international recession in commodity sector caused some problems for country's agriculture sector, which should be tackled promptly to ensure growth in it.
The minister also urged to review the commodity nature of the present export portfolio to go for high value added products to register quantum jump in it. He also urged for customization of products and said that marketdriven approach is required to explore the demand of various products. He also highlighted the importance of academia-industry link and said invest- ment in knowledge is of paramount importance to become part of knowledge platform in the world.
He asked Higher Education Commission (HEC) to carryout study of leading Ph.d programme in top universities of the world and prepare strategy for increased share of Pakistani students to these universities. He also directed to identify top fifty Chinese universities to develop partnership with Pakistani universities. He asked HEC to submit evaluation report on performance of Ph.d scholars. Ahsan Iqbal highlighted significant achievements in the last two and half years and particularly pointed out the security situation, which has improved so much so that a country, which was once besieged in 2013 is now at offense against the terrorists in 2016, which are now at run.