Poor quality of governance behind dismal economic growth

Karachi: There are a number of positive features in Pakistani economy, which if incorporated in the growth equation, can pull the country back from economic stagnation and set it on a plane of high and sustainable rate of GDP growth. Pakistan, if managed properly, can achieve a growth rate of 7 to 8 percent in the next three to five years.

Shahid Javed Burki, Renowned Economist, Former VP, World Bank and Former Caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan expressed these views while presenting his Macroeconomic Address during the 13th MAP Convention organized here Tuesday by the Management Association of Pakistan.

Under the theme of this year’s MAP Convention “Leadership, People, Innovation”, speakers from across the world gathered to discuss growing market needs and measures to overcome challenges through strong leadership, human capital management and innovation.

Shahid Javed Burki highlighted factors that should become part of the growth framework being developed by the Planning Commission that include: agriculture with a high growth potential; medium size companies with the skill base to become international supply chains; opening up of the economy to India; an enviable geographic space; rapidly growing cities that could become the engines of economic growth; the entry of a million well trained and skilled women into the economy every year; and large diasporas to play important roles in the development of the homeland.

He pointed out that 2012-13 is likely to be better than the year before but it does not mean that the economy is finally out of woods. He said: “In 2008-12, Pakistan was engaged in making a transition from a controlled to a reasonably open political system. The positive side of this development is that a durable and representative political system is coming into being in which people will have a voice. One of the more important reasons for the economy’s indifferent performance was the poor quality of governance that was on offer. There are ways of improving governance and some of these are being factored into the development of institutions of accountability.”

Earlier, Kamal Chinoy, President MAP while delivering the welcome note said, “The aim of this convention is to provide a platform and opportunity for corporate stakeholders to analyze key trends and prospects in the region in general and Pakistan in particular.

In her presentation on ‘Pakistan – Strategic Perspectives in the New Context and the New Challenges’ Dr. Marie Lall – Fellow Royal Society of

Arts’ reviewed the challenges in the South Asian region and emphasized on the need for clear policy vision for the government for issues relating to international trade, energy security and aid in Pakistan. She said, “For Pakistan, a clear roadmap is needed which can define the relations both with India and Afghanistan. In addition, it is important that relations are improved between government, military and diplomatic bureaucracy.”

Presenting on ‘Unlocking A new world of Possibility’, the globally renowned speaker, Magnus Lindkvist urged to challenge the status quo and gave an insight into as to why the unexpected is not a liability to be avoided but an asset we should embrace. He highlighted the tools that will help spot new trends out of randomness that will reshape current business from what were once unknown opportunities.

Mike Sherman – Head, Living Analytics, Group Digital Life, SingTel presented ‘Rich Insights into Developing Markets’ where he discussed economic indicators from this region and shared interesting insights from developing countries.

The panel discussion on ‘Development of an Indigenous Innovation and

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Pakistan’ was moderated by Furqan Habib Qureshi – SEVP South, PTCL and participated by Shahid Javed Burki, Renowned Economist, Former VP, World Bank; Dr. Athar Osama, Founder and CEO, Pakistan Innovation Foundation & Chief Executive, Technomics International Ltd (UK); Saad Amanullah Khan, CEO, Gillette Pakistan; and Muhammad Younas, Head of Innovative Products and Internal Expansion, Bayt.com. Shehzad Naqvi, Former President & CEO, Royal Bank of Scotland and Sima Kamil, Head Retail & Consumer Banking, Habib Bank Limited talked about the innovation in banking sector.

The convention was concluded with the vote of thanks delivered by Saadia Naveed, VP MAP.