Coun­try well-poised to take off in 2016, says Ah­san Iqbal

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

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.

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