ISLAMABAD: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz said on Tuesday that international ratings agencies are optimistic about Pakistan’s economic performance and are predicting the country will emerge as one of the fastest growing economies in the world in coming years.
He expressed these views while addressing a conference on “Redefining prosperity paths in a changing global economy: opportunities and challenges for Pakistan” organised by the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE).
Aziz said that Pakistan’s real GDP growth was 5.3% in 2016-17 which is the highest rate in the last nine years due to improvements in energy supply and the security situation, two key bottlenecks which were holding back economic growth.
“Pakistan’s economy has seen a noticeable turnaround in the last four years as a result of cumulative impact of macroeconomic and structural reforms,” Aziz stated, adding that Pakistan successfully executed a $1-billion Sukuk and $1.5-billion Eurobond at relatively low yields of 5.625% and 6.875%, respectively, which reflects the confidence of global investors in Pakistan’s economy.
In redefining paths for the future, the deputy chairman said it is important to carefully analyse the dramatic changes that are taking place in the global economy as economic dynamism has shifted from advanced economies to emerging markets.
Quoting the example of the Chinese economy, he said China is re-balancing its economy from manufacturing to services, investments to consumption and from exports to domestic services which means slower but more sustainable growth for the close neighbour.
“Moreover, major economic powers including US and European Union are facing structural issues of aging populations, growing debts, weak financial institutions and global financial crisis which has brought about a shift in policies that will allow a greater role for the public sector in steering their national economies,” Aziz highlighted.
He said that due to rapid transformation of the global economic order, it is necessary for Pakistan to reposition itself in the global economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2017.