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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Dec 11, 2013

Ahsan for following knowledge-based economic model

Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and
Reforms, on Tuesday emphasized on investing vigorously in social and
human capital to turn around the fate of the nation.
Addressing as a
chief guest in opening plenary by SDPI’s 16th Sustainable Development
Conference titled "Creating Momentum: Today is Tomorrow", Prof Ahsan
Iqbal said, “We must switch to digital literacy from pen literacy to
embrace knowledge-based economic model of the 21st century, instead of
traditional economic themes having roots in the Industrial Revolution of
18th and 19th century. The traditional ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ are
being replaced by the ‘information haves’ and ‘information have-nots’.
He explained, "The Knowledge model has changed model of generating
wealth, as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and other IT-based businesses
are producing new millionaires and billionaires in the world. Ability to
acquire, process and use information has become key to economic
success. The developing countries like Pakistan lag far behind the
developed nations in Prosperity Index because they have remote access to
these new factors of economic development. Therefore, we must take
aggressive steps to equip our human resource with these latest
technological advances in order to reap the fruit of knowledge-based
economic model".
Ahsan Iqbal highlighted, "Globalization and
regionalization are the two conflicting but major trends of the modern
global economy. Countries are synergizing into regional economic blocks
to counter the challenges posed by resource-rich multi-national and
trans-national companies".  He added," 85% of the world trade in this
century is estimated to be either inter-regional or intra-regional in
nature, but it is heart-rending to note that since its inception in
1985, the regional trade volume of SAARC member states is just 5% of the
overall world trade, despite holding 17 Summit and 34 Ministerial
meetings of the SAARC countries. This poor economic data owe a great
deal to trust deficit between Pakistan and India, because both countries
cover 80% of the SAARC pie".
The federal minister urged upon the
need to take radical steps in bridging the trust deficit between the two
major economies of the South Asian region lest it should be too late to
recover”. He also shed light on the unilateral steps taken in good
faith by the Government of Pakistan to improve upon the long-standing
mistrust between the two odd neighbours.  He added, "Pakistan has shown
political maturity over the past decade, as India is no more an
electoral issue in Pakistan, but in India, Pakistan bashing is still
popular with politicians and media in electoral cycle.
Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was the first leader in the region who
publicly talked of having better ties with India during 1997 election
campaign. Indian leadership must also move beyond war of words as future
of over 1.5 billion people in South Asia is at stake. Iqbal also
stressed upon the need of resolving all outstanding disputes with India
through dialogue. He said, "We must start with resolving Sir Creek and
Siachin issues on which both the parties have already come to
consensus". He asked the Indian authorities to resume Air India
operations in Pakistan, give landing rights to Pakistani TV channels in
India, and re-start bilateral cricket series between the two major
cricketing nations in the region".
On this occasion, Prof Ahsan Iqbal
infused a spirit of optimism by refuting those who paint a bleak
picture of our future as a nation.  He explained, “The health of any
system or state depends on rule of law, consensus on fundamental issues,
spirit of the stakeholders to compete and collaborate, freedom of
expression, high level of engagements of the stakeholders. Pakistan is
making positive progress on all these indices. The new government is
tackling the economic challenges by making right choices. The country
has improved its ranking on transparency and good governance.  There are
no more corruption breaking news”. Pakistan Vision 2015 enjoys support
of all stakeholders.  We have to adopt “One nation, one vision” as motto
to defeat forces of extremism, poverty and illiteracy. Pakistan will
become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia through Pakistan
2025 agenda.