Shift in focus: Rise of Pakistan just a matter of time, says David M Darst

Strategist says Pakistan is one of nine nations that will add another China in 35 years

Farhan Zaheer January 27, 2015
Darst says Pakistan is one of nine nations that will add another China in 35 years. PHOTO: AFP


Pakistan is located in a region that will bring major changes in the world economy in coming decades primarily due to its demographics.

With over 100 million people below the age of 30 aspiring to change their lives, the rise of Pakistan is just a matter of time, Morgan Stanley Chief Investment Strategist David M Darst said on Tuesday. Darst, however, was speaking in his personal capacity and not representing Morgan Stanley at the lecture.

“Demographics will play a major role in coming decades. Pakistan is among those nine countries in Asia that will add another China in the next 35 years and the impact of this change will be phenomenal on the world economy,” he said while giving a lecture on “The World Economic Environment: Where’s the Global Capital Going”.

It was part of a special series of lectures that was organised by The Aga Khan University here at its auditorium.

With a young population of an average age of 22 years, “I believe the opportunities that the young entrepreneurs from Pakistan have are going to make an exceptional contribution to the economy of the region,” he added.

Darst, who is the author of 11 books and has a PhD in economics from Yale, said it is wrong to believe that Pakistan is lagging behind due to its proximity with Afghanistan, Iran and India. “In fact, I believe Pakistan is in the centre of Asian countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia that will significantly contribute in the world economy in coming decades.”

Speaking about the strong fundamentals of Pakistan’s stocks, he said, with 31% returns in dollar terms Pakistan led the world markets in 2014. “What is important is that the stocks in Pakistan are still very cheap compared to the markets in the industrialised world and they are performing better than many markets in terms of returns,” he added.

“I am surprised to see low number of investors in the bourses of Pakistan. This must change considering the strong fundamentals of Pakistani stocks.”

Darst said women in the world are playing an important role in today’s world economy. The rise of the entrepreneurs from the developing world, especially women entrepreneurs, will also bring significant positive changes in this century.

Listing down the challenges to the global economy, he said though Pakistan and India have benefitted from the current sharp decline in oil prices, sudden fall in oil prices has rejuvenated fears of deflation in many countries.

He said Europe is redefining itself and the sharp changes in Europe can surprise the world at large.

Speaking on the challenges facing Europe in relation to Greece, he said the new elected prime minister of Greece could take decisions that may not go well with the euro and the overall economy of the continent.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2015. 

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Danish | 6 years ago | Reply I am a jobby and almost an year ago I started my own side business with very high risks. The risks paid me off and today masha allah I m doing great. It is very easy to pin-point the lows of government but we should understand our responsibility as well. We are being victim of issues because we are not doing anything for ourselves. We are not building ourselves. Laying back with a coffee cup and criticizing PAKISTAN is not the rightful act of any one, not even the citizens of Pakistan. If you want a change, be the change. People criticizing Pakistan are those who do not even stop at the red light! Is that also the government's fault? There is only one question that matters, Did you grow yourself on your homeland? If not, then you would be weak within even after having a CEO bum in US. The youth need to understand that there are ways that can take you to prosperity within your homeland. Everything has a day one, have the guts and give it a start. Pakistan has an absolutely shining future.
Sohail Sherali | 6 years ago | Reply Accumulation of Wealth is a subject taught in many universities. Investment into the stock market is also part of the course. Some 15 years back, I went on training course, there I came to know that some countries have negative rate on saving in the banks. I do not recall all the name of the countries but one was Japan other one was Swiss. Stock Exchange has create more training courses / awareness sessions. Here in Pakistan people do not do their own research, they look for tips to make money. Major Foreign funds manager are eyeing on the Pakistan Equity market. Mutual fund industry is growing. Do not look at the Index, Study the balance sheet, Profit & loss account, Chairman review, then you go for the investment, Stock brokerage house also help you.
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