Global ranking: Pakistan billed to become 18th largest economy by 2050

Published: January 20, 2014
If economist O’Neill’s projections are correct, Pakistan’s economy would grow 15 times in the next 35 years or so. PHOTO: FILE

If economist O’Neill’s projections are correct, Pakistan’s economy would grow 15 times in the next 35 years or so. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan would become the 18th largest economy in the world by 2050 with a GDP of US$ 3.33 trillion, predicted economist Jim O’Neill.

Currently, Pakistan is the 44th largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$ 225.14 billion. This means that, if O’Neill’s projections are correct, Pakistan’s economy would grow 15 times in the next 35 years or so.

Economist Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China – as potential powerhouses of the world economy, has now identified the ‘Mint’ countries – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey – as emerging economic giants, according to BBC.

In terms of wealth, Mexico and Turkey are at about the same level, earning annually about $10,000 per head. This compares with $3,500 per head in Indonesia and $1,500 per head in Nigeria, which is on a par with India. They are a bit behind Russia – $14,000 per head – and Brazil on $11,300, but still a bit ahead of China – $6,000 (£3,600).

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (72)

  • F
    Jan 20, 2014 - 10:25AM

    Let us hope the country survives till then.


  • Faisal
    Jan 20, 2014 - 10:57AM

    Must be due to increase in population growth rate because economy or law and order does not seem to be a government priority for now!


  • Engineer
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:00AM

    Good Luck to my country…we are ready to play our part for Pakistan’s development


  • Sli
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:14AM

    Just 18th largest by 2050? Up from 44th largest. This is a very pathetic outlook of Pakistan’s economy.


  • Idol
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:40AM

    Forget mention India which currently at 9, 3rd largest by 2028 and 1st by 2050.


  • Jan 20, 2014 - 11:42AM

    How right. We have heard this all before. The civilian so-called political leaders just do not seem to be coming to grasps with what is going on and what to do about it. All round confusion. Salams


  • Ovais
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:50AM

    What is so amazing about it, we are the sixth largest country in terms of population .


  • Umar
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:57AM

    The GDP will be 15 times larger than it is now but the per capita income will still be the same or maybe a negligible increase might occur. Pakistan is a potential investors hub but only if security is maintained, which is not. So by analyzing all of that, my hopes for this country are still down, sadly.


    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:08PM

    Very hard to believe we will be the 18th largest economy and the economic growth will multiply so many times

    Looking at the current situation, we can struggling to fight polio. The education levels are in shambles and there is hardly any sign of employment for the mass population. Inflation is sky high. Poor are getting poorer and rich are getting richer

    One thing is for sure, the Sharif family will become the richest in the world


  • Necramancer
    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:12PM

    Just cut down on population and everything rest will be fine and dandy


  • WomenRule
    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:33PM

    Obviously it would. Jis rate per humaray mashallah bachhay paida horahay hain, we are all set to cross 500 million by 2050 and by the end of the century, a billion people. It would not be because of actual economic development since there will not be much in the way of change in purchasing power parity and income levels. We are already facing chronic food shortages, our infrastructure is already lagging behind and we do not have enough housing either. Jobs toh dur ki baat hain! Truly, a nuclear bomb waiting to explode .. India say isi cheez per hee competition karsaktay hain lol.


    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:55PM

    A great fiction circulated by those in power duly sponsored by them. Please do not degrade your paper by such items.


  • Stealth
    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:59PM

    India and Nigeria at the same level in per capita income…thought India is ahead.


  • Talking Point
    Jan 20, 2014 - 12:59PM

    Goodluck . Recommend

  • Stellar
    Jan 20, 2014 - 1:03PM

    Currently, Pakistan is the 44th largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$ 225.14 billion.
    GDP in purchasing power parity is about 540 billion USD for Pakistan which places it on 27th number in the world. Also there is lot of undocumented economy which can be 34-45 percent of the economy and the actual GDP figure might be much higher.


  • Stellar
    Jan 20, 2014 - 1:10PM

    This will only be possible if other countries are going at zero percent growth rate. Now the Indian economy has nosedived and the GDP growth is down below 4.5 percent.


  • M.Faisal
    Jan 20, 2014 - 1:21PM

    To see prosperity Purchase price parity and GDP per capita is the relevant and important figures.


  • MSS
    Jan 20, 2014 - 1:51PM

    Wishful predictions.
    Based on the data given, a simple calculation shows that Pakistani economy will have to grow at an annual rate of 7.75% per annum, year after year, for the next 36 years. Unless Pakistan displaces China, it is almost impossible. It would seem that the economist Jim O’Neill has had lager too many.Recommend

  • Dexter
    Jan 20, 2014 - 2:03PM

    Original article.

    The world’s three biggest economies to be 1. China 2. US 3. India.

    Indian economy to be 12 times bigger that Pakitan from the current 8-9 times. :)

  • ISROFan
    Jan 20, 2014 - 2:15PM

    Do you know what “per capita” means?Recommend

  • Shafaq
    Jan 20, 2014 - 2:53PM

    Is this prediction by Economist ……………….or Astrologist? :)Recommend

  • Irfan
    Jan 20, 2014 - 3:27PM

    That means if rich don’t pay the taxes, inflation continues to grow, normal house hold things become extremely expensive for poor people to buy and unemployment increases so much that poor people start selling their children will make Pakistan 18th largest economy by 2050, then we should continue to do what we are doing. Europe , Japan and North America should learn from us. Recommend

  • Sparta
    Jan 20, 2014 - 3:50PM

    GDP size doesn’t matter as much as GDP per capita, Pakistan and India have large populations that’s why they’re going to have large economies, but the per capita income is or par with African countries.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 20, 2014 - 4:22PM

    Will O’Neill be around in 2050 to answer what went wrong with his predictions ????Recommend

  • Indian reader
    Jan 20, 2014 - 4:33PM

    Let’s grow together and live in peace. Recommend

  • dude
    Jan 20, 2014 - 4:47PM

    your brain is clearly invisible here. its because of India’s high populationRecommend

  • Hmm
    Jan 20, 2014 - 4:59PM

    Population reduction is the key …But some people choose for 3 or 4 or 5 in the country . 2 child policy should be strict.Recommend

  • Naveed Alam Khattak
    Jan 20, 2014 - 5:01PM

    @F: We will survive and will progress In Sha Allah.Recommend

  • Khaki
    Jan 20, 2014 - 5:01PM

    In god we trust :) Recommend

  • optimist
    Jan 20, 2014 - 5:11PM

    Law and Order is a big challenege and despite this Pakistani growth never went in negative (apart from year 1971).
    There is much hope and things can only get better!Recommend

  • Hira
    Jan 20, 2014 - 5:31PM

    Hey, how about including hyperlinks to the reports/analysis mentioned to give readers a more thorough fact-file. Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2014 - 5:33PM

    it will s ure survive with the grace of Almighty.We need to be positive.Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2014 - 5:34PM

    Future is bright for Pakistan.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Jan 20, 2014 - 5:42PM

    On the basis of the current social and economical situation of Pakistan, the disparity and gap between poor and rich shall definitely grow more than 15 times!Recommend

  • Sadaf Siddiqui
    Jan 20, 2014 - 6:19PM

    Economy will grow. Population will grow but per capita income will go down.Recommend

  • Salar
    Jan 20, 2014 - 6:21PM

    India and China populations are over a billion and US has always had a good economy…basically you are comparing a country of 180 million to India is quite daft considering despite Indians wealth and millions of millionaires, it has worst poverty in the world and in comparison, it’s worst being the average Indian to an average pakistani in terms if livelihood etc but I would say India has done remarkably well. I just hope Indonesia turkey and Middle East countries which are mainly Muslim improve their economies too.Recommend

  • piddler
    Jan 20, 2014 - 6:45PM

    HA HA. item? No paper is complete without itRecommend

  • zubair
    Jan 20, 2014 - 7:00PM

    The Economist O’Neil Sounds like a Pakistani Government Spokes person. Recommend

  • Sehyr
    Jan 20, 2014 - 7:08PM

    @F: “Let us hope the country survives till then.”

    Insha’Allah Pakistan will, you won’t. Recommend

  • Stellar
    Jan 20, 2014 - 7:52PM

    Even in the worst of time the economy is growing at a rate of 3.4-4 percent(GDP growth) and the growth rate have not gone into negative. If the security and the power crisis improves, the growth rate can be anywhere between 7-8 percent, even more.
    It shows the economy is resilient and is somewhat insulated from the recession in the major part of west.
    It will bounce back and will be in growth trajectory in coming years, after the GSP+ status and substantial growth in agriculture/manufacturing sector and in cement, fertilizers, automobiles( 2 million bikes last year, new plants being established)). Growth in service sector like telecom, banking and finances is also there. Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 20, 2014 - 8:02PM

    Prediction don’t mean anything unless and until WE start working hard ourselves as a nation.Recommend

  • Idol
    Jan 20, 2014 - 9:06PM

    Some people are talking about poverty in india here for their knowledge After china its India in which poverty decline is fastest from 39% in 2004 to 21% in 2012 …in next decade India will be as Poverty free as it become Polio Free now!”
    hope ET will publish it..Recommend

  • avi
    Jan 20, 2014 - 9:28PM

    who care about pakistan?Recommend

  • Guru
    Jan 20, 2014 - 9:34PM

    By the time 2050 world think only these 3 countries ie, China,India & US,all are relevant in the world, rest of countries not bothered much..Recommend

  • Dr. Khan
    Jan 20, 2014 - 9:56PM

    This is great. After a long wait, we have found an economist who has predicted Pakistan’s place in the top 18 by 2050. This is not inconsistent with the prediction made last year by Islamabad’s Dr. Khan that Pakistan would easily find itself in the top 17 economies by the year 6142AD. ET, please bring to light more reports by individuals who make grand predictions for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Last Word
    Jan 20, 2014 - 10:11PM

    @F Let us hope the country survives till then.
    Surely it will, but by the kind courtesy of its all weather friend China who would bail out Pakistan from its deep debt and attach it as one of its provinces.Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2014 - 10:46PM
  • Hamza
    Jan 20, 2014 - 11:21PM

    Well this survey is in context of what is happening in Pakistan right now and what kind of future planning is the country doing, this does not guarantee anything though.. this is just a mere illusion. The only thing that this proves is that if Pakistan grows even in the slightest way possible, Pakistan will be 18th economy in the world. I don’t think this survey considered alot of things that are on the way, especially Gawadar. Gawadar would not only effect Pakistan positively but it will also take up alot of other businesses of the neighbouring countries. Gawadar is expected to become the hub of the world like Dubai in the next 10 years, according to alot of experts, (again this is just a mere guess of what could happen)… Plus this survey did not even considered alot of stable economies…. that are right now…

    BRICS was finished years ago, since the downfall of indian economy, James O’Neil said that he wished to take India’s name out of it plus it has the lowest of all the five BRICS economies, China Brazil Russia and South Africa remain, Brazil even though has a stable economy, it is also facing alot of security problems. This effects the economy too. Russia has problems of civil rights, BRICS has a very strong forum on civil rights. This comes down to only two competitors China and South Africa… South Africa has alot to go though, it is still not stable the economy is new even though they have a high influx of foreign investors. So the only one is China. MINT countries are small too, they have alot to go.Recommend

  • antanu
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:16AM

    then why visit this site and Comment? it’s the height of hypocrisy.


  • Idol
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:51AM

    U just said BRICS & MINT ended..claps for u:)lol by the Way China is slowing & India is going to be next economy& Investment powerhouse in next decades like china did from 2000 to 2010….!! China’s peak has be achieved now they hav no young pop. No cheap labour like they enjoyed in past decades…But for India its Peak going to strt just after its 2014 election.. U should read growth rates of India china given by World bank( latest)..


  • Mirza
    Jan 21, 2014 - 2:35AM

    Looks like most of us have not much hope in our lifetime.


  • BAMAlık
    Jan 21, 2014 - 2:37AM

    If peace and law and order prevail in our country with a strict control over molvies, Mufties, I am confident that Pakistan would be the 18th largest before 2035 and will come to single digits like 8th or 9th largest economy in 2050 but if the above mention conditions are met.


  • Ali
    Jan 21, 2014 - 3:15AM

    Can be number 1 if corruption stops, GUARANTEED.


  • Murtaza
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:01AM

    A wonderful comment published this week, in the scientific journal Nature, highlights the inadequacy of using GDP as an indicator of growth. GDP will grow even faster if there is a natural disaster and subsequent rebuilding, as it did following Hurricane Sandy in the US. Similarly, it will also grow if a country is spending more money to curtail violence. GDP growth does not adequately represent better living standards or life satisfaction and is certainly amiss about income gap and inequality. For the complete discussion, please see the original article here:


  • Geminiman
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:13AM

    Will somebody post this report to U.S.congress who wants to withhold $ 33 mil. for a country having GDP $ 225 billion ( double it if you count unaccounted economy ) . What an affront ! And they wonder why nobody likes us in Pakistan,


  • A. Khan
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:22AM

    @Idol: Did you know about the farmers committing suicide in India ? The stories are rather sad. And you should stop reading the Indian government propaganda, lest you start believing in it also.


  • Kamran Khan
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:26AM

    @Engineer: ready for last 66 years but the corrupt generals, bureaucrats and politicians are still not done destroying this country with their corruption and incompetence and are unwilling to give us our turn to turn tings around for this country


  • Observer
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:56AM


    “Forget mention India which currently at 9, 3rd largest by 2028 and 1st by 2050.”

    The total size of GDP is misleading and meaningless. It is the per capita GDP that is the good indicator of economic progress and prosperity of the people of a country.

    India and Pakistan are way behind the richer countries. For example, the per capita annual GDP of the US, China and India are $52,000, $9,000 and $3,800 respectively on a PPP basis.

    So, you see, even China has a very long way to go before even approaching the national per capita prosperity of the advanced countries.


  • Virkaul
    Jan 21, 2014 - 10:21AM

    @Stealth: Both are at same level around $ 1450


  • Jan 21, 2014 - 10:46AM

    6th largest country in the world in terms of population today, 44th largest Economy.

    In 2050, with a projected population of around 500 Million(!), the 3rd largest population in the world, Pakistan is projected to be only the 18th most largest economy. Which makes sense considering the GDP growth in the past decade.

    India : 2 largest population, 9th largest Economy. 3rd in terms of PPP.

    India in 2050 : Largest population in the world, 2nd or 3rd in Economy.

    Pakistan simply does not have that many resources like India, like rivers for example, to sustain that great a population. The Indus Water System will start yielding much less water due to climate change, 20 years down the line.

    I just hope that Pakistan will build dams and manages its water, because if it doesn’t, it might blame India, even though the less water is due to climate change, and there might be a war, which might be catastrophic, since both powers are nuclear-weapon states.


  • Dr. X
    Jan 21, 2014 - 11:42AM

    Pakistan should assume the rule of the GATEWAY to the economic giants like China, Russia and India. We need to focus on two things only:

    1- Electricity generation (Cheap- Hydropower, wind, nuclear and solar power). Electricity will grow our local industries,
    2- Building motorways and railways. Build strong National Airline!

    We need to connect India with the Middle East. China, Russia and Central Asian countries to the Arabian Sea.


  • Mehran
    Jan 21, 2014 - 11:43AM

    Only Sharia can save Pakistan


  • Someone_Anyone_Everyone
    Jan 21, 2014 - 2:36PM

    Guess what will be the most thriving industry in 2050 ? … MEDIA !!! :)Recommend

  • Kawesh
    Jan 21, 2014 - 2:54PM

    A great news…..
    Most probably Hamza Shahbaz or Bilawal Zardari will be 3rd time PM that time :))Recommend

  • Sparta
    Jan 21, 2014 - 5:53PM


    6th largest country in the world in
    terms of population today, 44th
    largest Economy. In 2050, with a
    projected population of around 500
    Million(!), the 3rd largest population
    in the world, Pakistan is projected to
    be only the 18th most largest economy.
    Which makes sense considering the GDP
    growth in the past decade.

    Pakistan has a much larger undocumented economy than India, only 2% of Pakistanis pay taxes, so we don’t know the exact size of the economy, some estimates say its 2 times the current size(at the least).

    Where did you get your stats about Pakistani population in 2050?Pakistan is projected to have a population of 271 million by 2050(still 6th largest by then), so you were only off by 230 million!!!.

    What’s more important than GDP size or purchasing power, is per capita income, and India is just slightly ahead of Pakistan(only this past decade).

    As far as climate change is concerned, it’s going to affect the WHOLE world, not just Pakistan.


  • Faheem Z. Ch
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:29PM

    All of those Friends who are happy on Media Reports that if Played right Pakistan will become 18th Largest economy, however we need to look deep, as per last census our growth rate is roughly 3% by this rate our population will be 598 million where as our GDP in 2050 would be $3.3 Trillion and our Per Capita GDP would be $ 5,500 AND THIS IS SHARAMNAKK PROGRESS


  • Cyberhinduwatch
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:39PM

    Indians stop with the self praising and get a reality check, your GDP is the same as of nigeria despite a billion plus population


  • VBFH
    Jan 22, 2014 - 3:06AM

    We the people of India and Pakistan must strive for smaller gap between the rich and the poor or these numbers don’t mean any thing. If rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer the per-capita income will still show a false picture of prosperity. that would be like telling all workers in TATA are making $5000 a month simply by dividing the owners’ income by it’s number of employees. No doubt Pakistan has few more but India has hundreds more billionaires in last ten years but that did not make a dent in lowering the poverty. The money that was made and invested in short term programs has disappeared in construction of empty office plazas, ports, factories, hotels etc. The key to survival in future is “Circulation of Money” i.e, is it in the safe or being circulated through all rich and poor. The country that has best money circulation Technic will be the true winner despite any international index.


  • anmol
    Jan 22, 2014 - 11:16AM

    @Observer: I agree!


  • anmol
    Jan 22, 2014 - 11:19AM

    @Observer: I agree!


  • smbfhs
    Feb 1, 2014 - 8:43PM

    I see here the representatives of Rich and Affluent nations or “Politically strong in world media” doing research and making reports. Where are the representatives of third world countries poor here? The rich 2% rob the 98% common and show their buddies what they have made while circulating the money among them. There is enormous room for scrutiny here because many thing are not considered here at all. See! Based on these reports you get your A, B, C ratings/grades and trustworthiness in world trade rights and contracts, credit worthiness with IMF or Other loans. So there is lot of temptation here to “Twist” the report method to get the result in your favour that make you look successful.

    Proof: Why there is so much poverty and backwardness in any country that matches the Economic Grade of China, U.S., Germany and France?Recommend

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