Economic Development: Pakistan's Policy Choices for the 21st Century (Presidential Remarks)

Sarfraz Khan Qureshi

Abstract


It is an honour for me as President of the Pakistan Society of
Development Economists to welcome you to the 14th Annual General Meeting
and Conference of th~ Society. As we prepare to enter the new
millennium, we find ourselves at a crucial moment in history. It is time
to take stock of our past achievements and to assess the new challenges.
To deal with the future would require not only thorough knowledge of the
evolving nature of development thinking but also a good sense of the
policy choices available to a country in its national, international and
regional position. What are the main challenges that require our urgent
attention? A few words are in order at the very outset about Pakistan's
current difficult economic situation. The slow-down in export expansion,
capital inflows and foreign direct investment was an expected
consequence of the imposition of sanctions. The pessimistic assessment
of Pakistan's prospects is based largely on the recent negative trends
of these economic parameters. The optimists are of the view that
Pakistan has survived the imposition of sanctions rather well. Economic
growth has remained positive and inflation has been kept under
reasonable control. The optimists further maintain that Pakistan's
current economic situation is no worse than that of the East Asian
countries when. they started their economic climb and engineered major
institutional and policy changes. Lessons from the initial years of the
East Asian miracle clearly show that development is decidedly possible
no matter what adverse initial conditions obtain in any developing
country. Sustained, rapid and equitable growth is possible through the
implementation of wide-ranging social and economic reforms. Lessons
from'the recentEast Asian Crises are also before us-guiding us on what
not to do and how best to protect ourselves in these rapidly changing
times.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v37i4Ipp.19-23

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