LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal has claimed that Pakistan would become world’s 25th largest economy in next ten years under Vision 2025.
Addressing the three-day Pakistan Coating Show (January 15-17) here at Expo Centre, he viewed that export sector had the key to achieve this goal and private sector’s role was very crucial for expansion of exports.
He cited, “Private sector is the key for progresses and without its active participation, all the economic development projects will remain incomplete.” The Federal Minister said, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was a splendid gift and its successful completion could make Pakistan’s development irreversible.
Ahsan Iqbal said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already declared that CPEC was the project of the entire nation and assured that people of all the provinces – KPK, Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab, and FATA, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan would benefit from projects under the CPEC. He also assured that western provinces- KPK and Baloshitan-would not be deprived of the fruit of the CPEC projects, which would be game-changer and transform Pakistan into an economic hub for Afghanistan, Central Asian states and China. The Federal Minister said that 2016 had been declared as ‘Year of Productivity, Quality and Innovation’ and a comprehensive awareness campaign would be launched with focus on these three factors. He called upon the industrial sector to study the local and global markets.
“Businesses have no finish line and only those can drill out their way in the competitive market, which focus on market and lead driven studies entailing thorough research and innovation, besides ensuring consumers relationship management,” he remarked. The Federal Minister also hinted at establishment of such institutions, which would cater to the needs of industrial sector regarding research and innovation. He added that an international brand conference would also be arranged to highlight its importance as the brand was vital to find a niche in the markets world over. The Federal Minister said that today, Pakistani merchandises had not only to compete in the local but also in the international markets, as the 20th century was of mere slogans but 21st century was of economic ideology and only that country could advance at global level that had economic development vision.
“So the entire nation must get ready and united for economic uplift of Pakistan having largest population of youth which can become a great demographic dividend for us but through equipping them with education and skills,” he added. Ahsan Iqbal said for this purpose, the PML-N government increased the Higher Education Commission (HEC) budget to Rs 78 billion from Rs 48 billion.
Pakistan had not good image abroad in the past due to her existence in the war zone as well as the previous governments hadn’t any vision for progress, but in two last years, Pakistan turned into a peaceful state under the dynamic and able leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said that two year ago, the western media and global institutions had been terming Pakistan a dangerous state but today the same media and institutions were all praise of Pakistan and declared her as rising economy in the Asia. He said, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had touched the record high of USD 21 billion from the lowest level of USD 6 billion two years back.
The foreign visitors would find the Pakistan Coating Show very beneficial for them by striking business deals with their Pakistani counterparts, he said, adding, “We will welcome warmly foreign investors and businessmen to Pakistan.” At the end, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal gave away shields to representatives of selected foreign companies. While, the Brighto Chairman Khawaja Ejaz Ahmed Sikka, Director Khawaja Khurrum Sikka, and Bin Rasheed Group CEO Moazzam Rasheed also spoke on the occasion.