Published Date: Dec 12, 2013
SDPI Press Release (December 12, 2013)
Pakistan has now been granted the GSP+ status, which will be effective
from 1st January 2014 and is likely to increase the country’s exports by
at least US$2 billion. This was announced by Ishaq Dar, Federal
Minister of Finance, while speaking as a Chief Guest at the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute’s (SDPI) annual Sustainable Development
Conference, which concluded today.
He noted that a number of measures have been taken to fix the economy
and the trust of international community on Pakistan is beginning to
take root. Even while austerity measures are being taken to bring down
the deficit, the government has increased allocations for social safety
nets to protect the poor. The Minister applauded SDPI’s efforts in
undertaking high-quality and independent research on various social,
environmental and economic issues.
Also present at the occasion
was Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and
Foreign Affairs, who highlighted that achieving peace in the
neighborhood is a major policy priority of the current government.
Emphasizing the need for regional cooperation in South Asia, he said
that “South Asian-ness is an identity that is waiting to be realized”.
Applauding SDPI’s efforts, he said that it is encouraging to talk about
futures, given the unprecedented pace of changes over the last century.
Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, presented recommendations
from the wide-range of panels during the three day conference.
Najam, renowned public policy analyst and Former VC at LUMS, observed
that the idea of South Asia is very strong even as the structure may
still be loose. “There is also a visible urge by most in the region to
hold on to a joint identity of South Asia”, he said. On India Pakistan
relations, he observed that “the peace process is much more vibrant and
has been less stalled than we think”. There remains possibility for
persistent solutions to India-Pakistan peace. There is a joint logic of
development, trade and peoples’ connectivity driving the agenda for
regional cooperation in South Asia. On the issue of Kashmir, he observed
that there has now been an increase in both the quantity as well as
diversity in workable solutions.