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Pakistan on track to become emerging economy in 2018

Pakistan was built on a dream, a desire, a vision that surpassed all bounds to become a glorious nation. It is a land of vast potential and countless opportunities, of breathtaking landscapes and hospitable people, of rich traditions and unmatched resilience. Pakistan is now set to embark a new path of progress, peace and prosperity. ‘Emerging Pakistan’ is the narrative of a youthful and vibrant Pakistan; full of hope and passion; with abundant resources and opportunities; open to new ideas and ventures under the themes of Opportunity, Sustainability & Mobility.

Opportunity

With the 10th largest labor force in the world, Pakistan has important strategic endowments and development potential. One of Pakistan’s key strengths is the demographic bulge especially growing proportion of young adults. Pakistan has capacity to send across large number of young unskilled/semi-skilled people. Having over 30 million plus population in the age group of 25-35, Pakistan can put this valuable asset by imparting training in different technical fields to respond market needs abroad.

SMEs constitute 90 percent of all enterprises in Pakistan. A well-functioning SME segment offers a range of benefits including greater access to growth capital for innovative SMEs, good governance, new jobs through entrepreneurship, more investment opportunity for portfolio investors and venture capitalists in a tax-free environment.

Sustainability

A large number of high-dividend FDI investment and joint venture opportunities exist in Pakistan. These include sectors such as infrastructure development and expansion, power generation and distribution networks, water resource development and desalination, farm-based industries, fresh fruit production for export in packaged form.

Pakistan is well endowed with energy and minerals. The government is focusing on a number of initiatives including specialized training, incentives for extraction and value addition, development of adequate infrastructure facilities near mining sites and learning from best practices in other countries regarding development of the mineral sector. A total of 11,327MW have been added to the national grid during last five years and by 2025 another 15,000MW are likely to be added. Pakistan also offers up to 17% return on multi-sector energy plans (hydel, coal-fired, wind, solar and natural) which, when materialized, will be advantageous to all the regional and global business partners as it will result in expansion of foreign trade and rise in industrial output.

 

Mobility

Infrastructure: The enhancement of geographical linkages under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) having improved road, rail and air transportation system with frequent and free exchanges of growth and people-to-people contact, enhancing understanding through academic, cultural and regional knowledge and culture, activity of higher volume of flow of trade and businesses, producing and moving energy to have more optimal businesses and enhancement of co-operation by win-win model will result in well connected, integrated region of shared destiny, harmony and development.

Communication: Due to the emergence of 3G and 4G, the size of e-commerce market, one of the most important drivers of a digital Pakistan, is expected to grow up to $1 billion by 2020. Pakistan is making good progress on Business to Business (B2B) front as software industry aims to achieve the goal of $5 billion export mark by year 2020 through software development and service out-sourcing.

The writer is a Karachi-based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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