Published Date: May 15, 2015
Pakistan’s economy growing despite macroeconomic imbalances
Economic growth of Pakistan is expected to improve in the coming years, partly due to government’s major efforts to address electricity shortages and other infrastructural bottlenecks. However, there is urgent need to make this growth more inclusive and broad-based by spreading its benefits to all parts of the country and segments of the society, said Dr Muhammad Hussain Malik, former chief, ESCAP Macroeconomic, Policy and Analysis Section, who presented the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 in Islamabad Thursday at the UN Information Centre together with Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Dean School of Social Sciences at NUST, and Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The survey titled making growth more inclusive for sustainable development shows that growth in the region’s developing nations will increase only slightly to 5.9 per cent in 2015 from 5.8 per cent last year with no significant change expected in 2016.
In Pakistan, economic growth picked-up to 4.1% in 2014 from average of 3.7% in the previous three years. Growth is expected to rise to 5.1% in 2015. Inflation is on the decline and budget deficit is being contained. Foreign exchange reserves have significantly improved. Market confidence in Pakistan’s outlook seems to have improved. In April 2014, the country issued sovereign bonds in international markets for the first time in seven years and it was oversubscribed.
Professor Ashfaque Hasan Khan noted that Pakistan’s economic growth has slowed down considerably over the last several years, giving rise to youth unemployment. He emphasized the need to readjust the country’s fiscal and monetary policy to revive inclusive growth.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that for growth to catalyse sustainable development it was crucial to achieve macro-economic stability and to distribute its benefits at micro level.
Launching the Survey in Bangkok, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, UN ESCAP Executive Secretary emphasized the need to promote quality growth and shared prosperity in the region, calling on regional policymakers to integrate and mainstream inclusive growth by adopting a mixed set of measures to achieve better social and environmental outcomes to enhance public welfare.
The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific has been monitoring regional progress providing cutting-edge analyses and guiding policy discussion to support inclusive and sustainable development in the region since 1947.