Convocation of Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Islamabad—Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said, “Pakistan is embarked upon an ambitious plan to lay strong foundations for building knowledge economy in the country. “We have to become beneficiary of 21st century in terms of reaping the dividends of knowledge economy through proactive action rather to fall victim to new challenges, he said.
Ahsan Iqbal made these remarks while speaking at the convocation 2016 of Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) Islamabad.
Ahsan said that Pakistan is blessed with huge youth population and this can be used as a demographic dividend for sustainable development and knowledge economy, said a statement issued by Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms here.
He said the youth population would play an instrumental role to take the country into top ten economies of the world by 2047 when country would be celebrating hundred years of its independence. Ahsan Iqbal said that following the years of sluggish economic performance, Pakistan has turned the tide during present regime by recovering strongly to reach the point of economic take off.
“Whole world is recognizing the improving economic indicators of the country by declaring it as safe heaven for billions of dollars Chinese investment”, he added.
The minister described political stability and social solidarity panacea to keep the momentum of growth and said that this makes a country attractive destination for foreign investment.
He pointed out that discontinuation of policies in the past played havoc with national development and cited the examples of Karachi-Peshawar Motorway, which would have been completed in 2000 if the work on it would not stop by past regimes other than PML-N.
The minister declared that with commissioning of CPEC Bin Qasim Power Plant, Sahiwal Power Plant, Thar and LNG based power plants, 10,000 MGW of energy would be added to national grid by 2018. He commended the work of Pakistani engineers working with Chinese counterparts to make the country self-reliant in energy and called upon the engineers fraternity to utilize their expertise and talent for development and betterment of the country.
He said that engineers played an important role in making Pakistan’s security impregnable and now we must develop commercial applications of technological competencies for creating an economic impact. Successful economies develop strong academia-research link. The minister particularly emphasized the need to project the soft image of the country in the world and by shunning cynicism and half glass empty mentality, which always portray a negative image of the country.