Investment for Industrialisation

46

CHAIRING a meeting on facilitating Chinese investment in SEZs, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan needs investment to accelerate industrialization and added it is critical to create maximum employment opportunities for our growing population, 65% of which is under the age of 35.

Indeed taking the country towards high tech industrialization is the only panacea to all the country’s economic woes.

The regrettable part is that in the past our successive governments did not pay any attention to uplift agriculture and the industrial sectors. This only contributed to our enhanced reliance on imports.

Our trade deficit widened one hundred per cent to $ 11.7 billion in the first quarter of current fiscal year due to an exceptional surge in imports that outpaced the increase in exports.

This rising trade deficit always compels us to spread the begging bowl before the world financial lenders especially the IMF. Then this debt servicing is also becoming a serious issue for us.

According to International Debt Statistics released by the World Bank on Monday, Pakistan is amongst the ten countries that possess the largest external debt stocks and became eligible for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic.

In this backdrop, we really need a serious course correction. Without uplifting the industrial and agriculture sectors, these economic problems will continue to haunt us.

Our country has an excellent opportunity in the form of multi billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to achieve rapid industrialization.

As also stated by the PM, all possible steps need to be taken such as provision of all facilities such as electricity and gas in the SEZs in order to populate them with Chinese as well as investment from other sources.

The success of SEZs has become very critical for us, hence all obstacles in their way be removed through one window facility for their early operationalization.

Apart from that we also need to focus on exploiting the rich mineral and other natural resources’ potential of the country.

Previous articlePM makes a strong case
Next articleNuclear maestro departs | By Muhammad Usman