Developing Karachi on Hong Kong model for fast track economic revival of Pakistan
DEVELOPING Karachi city on the Hong Kong model would require a comprehensive and coordinated effort involving various stakeholders such as the government, private sector and citizens. Here are some steps that could be taken:
- This mother of all projects should be made a part of greater CPEC as China already possesses the required experience.
- Establish a Special Administrative Region (SAR): Karachi can be transformed into an SAR, similar to Hong Kong, which would give it a high degree of autonomy in its governance and economic policies. This would require constitutional amendments and negotiations with the federal government.
- Implement a Free Market Economy: Hong Kong has a free-market economy that is highly conducive to business and entrepreneurship. To emulate this model, Karachi would need to create a business-friendly environment with extremely low taxes, minimal government regulation and incentives for investors.
- Build Infrastructure: Hong Kong’s world-class infrastructure plays a critical role in its economic success. Karachi needs to improve its infrastructure, including transportation, communication, water and energy networks, to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
- Improve Education and Skill Development: Hong Kong has a highly educated workforce that is essential to its success. Karachi must prioritize education and ‘skill development’ to ensure that its workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to drive economic growth.
- Strengthen Law and Order: Hong Kong has a reputation for being a safe city, which is essential for businesses to operate. Karachi needs to improve law and order to attract investment and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. Moreover, Karachi needs to be further divided in small administrative sectors.
- Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Hong Kong encourages innovation and entrepreneurship which has helped it become a leading global financial centre. Karachi must foster an entrepreneurial culture and encourage innovation to create a vibrant startup ecosystem.
In conclusion, transforming Karachi into a city like Hong Kong would require significant investment, ‘political will’ and sustained effort. However, by adopting the right policies and strategies, Karachi can become a hub of economic growth and development in the region, which in turn will lead to fast track economic resurgence of Pakistan.