Pakistan’s permanent representative to United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Khalil Hashmi has been elected as president of the 11th session of the Commission on Trade and Development, an important platform to discuss key trade and development issues.
The commission is one of the key constituents of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) based in Geneva. Pakistan’s presidency provides an opportunity to share its experiences as well as to benefit from best practices that advance trade and development goals of the country.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The commission will consider reports on legal and policy aspects of trade, services, commodities, consumer protection and competition within the overall context of sustainable development. It will consider progress in research and analysis, consensus building, technical cooperation and discuss ways to strengthen multilateral cooperation in the areas of trade and development.
Pakistan’s election to lead the UN Commission on Trade and Development signifies the country’s recognition of its active engagement as an important player in the multilateral fora.
HARD ECONOMIC DECISION: Addressing Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum in Islamabad, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh expressed optimism that common man would shortly get positive impacts of macroeconomic stability.
He said that the government is making strenuous efforts to achieve set targets of national economic development during current financial year for overall social economic uplift in the country. In order to achieve macro-economic stability, he said that the government had taken hard economic decision to maintain fiscal discipline.
The event was jointly organized by the Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum and the Asian Development Bank. Former State Bank governor and Karandaaz Pakistan Chairperson Dr Shamshad Akhtar and Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Dean Professor Naoyuki Yoshino also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had adopted austerity measures that helped in curtailing the menace of deficits and created additional space for enhanced spending on the socio-economic prosperity. “We were able to achieve the current account surplus in October, 2019,” he said.
REVENUE COLLECTION: He expressed the hope that the Gross Domestic Products target set by the government for this year, ought to be achieved with the expectation of surpassing the target. He said that the revenue collection in the country is increased by 16 percent in fiscal year as compared to previous year, which showed the positive direction of the incumbent government.
He said that the public private partnership is prerequisite tool and is the only way forward to make new infrastructural projects for achieving the economic reform agenda set by the government. He said that resource management is another important component for achieving the sustainable economic growth in the country.
The adviser said that the government has facilitated the exporters and extended them the facility for increasing country’s exports, resultantly local export witnessed significant increase in the last four months of current financial year. He said that increasing exports trends and decreasing imports during the last four months did help in decrease the trade deficit also.
He said that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) also increased in the last quarters as compared to the last FY in same period, which shown confidence of foreign investors on the current government. He said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was satisfied with the policies and accomplishment of the economic agenda of current government and agreed to enhance further cooperation in future as well.
He said that this forum under the supervision of the Asian Development Bank would play important role in future, adding that ADB has history of economic and development cooperation with Pakistan, which would eventually increase in future. He said that the government has inherited the worst economic situation from the previous government, which required time to improve the economy.
After the event, the adviser told journalists that the government has prioritized the development agenda and fully concentrated to release the funds for Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). “Now it’s all about the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms to how they rapidly achieve the target of infrastructural development in the country.”
He said that the projects of infrastructural development launched by the government would create new employment opportunities for people. The adviser said that the entire social development program including Prime Minster Youth Loan Scheme was fully supported by the government and allocations for these all programs would be released on time.
He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has provide huge platform for the development and prosperity with cooperation between China and Pakistan and added there was a need to create awareness in the world regarding this mega projects for getting foreign investment in CPEC.
The adviser said that mega project of CPEC would provide connectivity and economic integration now within country but enhance the economic connectivity with regional countries. Asian Development Bank Institute Dean Professor Naoyuki Yoshino stressed for public private partnership for achieving the target of infrastructural development in Pakistan.
Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum is a unique platform to reflect on the ecosystem of financing for sustainable and growth. She said that infrastructural and small medium enterprises (SMEs) development was at the nexus of economic growth, productive investment, and job creation and poverty reduction.