Published Date: Dec 7, 2016
CPEC is a step in the right direction
There is a need for strengthening south-south collaboration for the promotion of peace and prosperity in the region, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a step in the right direction, said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday.
Mr Aziz was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day 19th Sustainable Development Conference hosted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI),
He highlighted the importance of regional and international cooperation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and suggested more investment, the adoption of new technologies, capacity building and the identification of barriers for achieving the SDGs and Pakistan’s Vision 2025.
Due to Brexit, the US presidential elections and the formation of nationalist governments in the north, north-south collaborations is in danger, he said.
Mr Aziz added that Saarc is a good platform for identifying regional challenges but South Asian nations could not harness the potentials of regional cooperation.
“The sustainable development of the country can be achieved via trade promotion and not through financial assistance,” he said, adding that Pakistan is on the path to peaceful co-existence for the betterment of coming generations.
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Law Minister Zahid Hamid said the government’s Vision 2025 has seven pillars and 25 goals, which are aligned with the SDGs.
“This means Pakistan is now in line with the UN’s 2030 agenda,” he added.
The minister said that a joint forum was needed to overcome the similar challenges being faced by South Asian states including hunger, poverty and climate change.
“I suggest that south-south cooperation should be examined further for better outcomes and at the same time, a systematic monitoring machinery and capacity building is required for the implementation of the SDGs,” the minister said.
The theme for the conference was ‘Sustainable Development: Envisaging the Future Together’ and aimed to serve as a forum for exchanging dialogue on sustainable development issues in which development practitioners, social scientists, academia, civil society representatives and policy makers from across the world participated.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayum Suleri said the conference provides a platform for evaluating and learning from what went wrong.
One of the key sessions of the conference was ‘Pakistan’s Macroeconomic Performance: Post IMF Outlook’ during which speakers highlighted the current state of the economy relative to the SDGs.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Program Coordinator Abdul Qadir said changes in the economy have impacts on politics, ethics and overall trends and warned that democracy will derail if the economic system fails.
Former economic advisor Sakib Sherani said Pakistan has failed in achieving the level of growth for which it had gone to the International Monetary Fund.
“There is no growth in the private sector if there is no adequate investment for it,” he added.
Mr Sherani said that reserve build ups are due to reductions in oil prices but exports are weak, the balance of payments is not correct, generation policy is not appropriate and the country has been standing in the same place for two decades.
Bank of Punjab Chairman Dr Pervez Tahir said social sector development is essential and suggested that social scientists be engaged in planning as they think more about social aspects compared to economists.
Other sessions included ‘SDGs: Opportunities and Challenges for Health Sector- The Importance of Data’, ‘Energy-Smart Gird and Remapping the T&D System of Pakistan’, ‘Is it possible to build states by delivering services? Along with that is it possible to increase legitimacy by providing services?’