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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Mar 5, 2013

Socio-economic connectivity can secure a prosperous future

Experts
at a seminar on Monday said enhanced physical, economic and social connectivity
can secure a prosperous future for South Asia region. They said, South Asia is
one of the least connected region in the world and called for improved
connectivity for smooth flow of goods, services, people, technologies,
knowledge, capital, culture and ideas throughout the region. They also demanded
policy makers in Pakistan to reform laws, develop new business models and
involve private sectors for investments to promote connectivity and
development.

They
were discussing at a seminar on &lAdquo;Regional Connectivity and Economic Growth”
organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
Tahir Dhindsa, Editor Economic Bulletin, SDPI moderated the proceedings.

Speaking
at the occasion, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI said that
connectivity discourse should not be limited to mere physical infrastructure
but social and people to people connectivity must also be considered for
regional integration.

Talking of communications network and services in Pakistan, Dr Vaqar argued
that state is intervening as major player that is competing with private sector
through monopoly corporations such as NLC, PIA, and Railway. He said, PIA which
is serving 5th biggest population of world has only 19 carriers that’s why flights
are delayed or canceled. He suggested to privatize freight operations in
railways and said. Referring to Pakistan’s new framework for economic growth,
Dr. Vaqar said that government should support public private partnership and
promote privatization. He said, Projects at inception and PC1 phase must first
be offered to private sector.