Esther Perez Ruiz, Resident Representative IMF Pakistan, has requested that the Pakistani government create a conducive business environment.
Esther Perez Ruiz is the Resident Representative IMF Pakistan. She stated that Pakistan must adopt proactive policies to maximize its export potential. These include exchange rate flexibility, efficient resource allocation, and elimination subsidies.
During her address to the Economic Advisory Group, (EAG), and Policy Research Institute of Market Economy(PRIME), she stated that Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), Pakistan organized an event to launch “Trade Connectivity” Book.
Attended the event were dignitaries representing the government, academia, IMF, and the Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan. Participants stressed the importance trade and regional connectivity for promoting economic prosperity.
She stated that both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade impede growth and sustainability. Spain’s integration in the EU in the 80s, 90s was a political goal that led to massive economic transformation. However, Pakistan’s GDP was impacted by its exports from just 14% to 10% in 1990 and then to 10% in 2000. Also, Pakistan’s per-capita GDP growth is extremely slow in comparison to its regional counterparts.
Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar acknowledged the importance and role of free markets in promoting economic growth. He believed that Pakistan’s real goal was export-led growth and free trade would be crucial in this regard.
Although the recent import ban was not well thought out, it was intended to temporarily restrain imports. The country’s uncertain political climate has also slowed down economic activity. The best way forward is to promote exports by tapping new markets and increasing export baskets by reducing trade barriers.
Birgit Lamm Head of Country Office FNF Pakistan stated that Pakistan has a large market with huge potential for economic growth. However, it is time to turn this potential into wealth creation for the country and its citizens.
Chairman EAG, Syed Javed Hassan, expressed his views in “The EAG Book Trade Connectivity” which examines the practical aspects and reasons why Pakistan needs to improve connectivity and thereby intraregional trade as well as become a hub for trade outside the region.
Economic growth is tied to the ability of nation-states to leverage connectivity and interdependencies within strong regional blocks. EAG Trade Connectivity shares this view with current trade theories. It focuses on internal and external economies at scale and suggests policy steps that could be taken to make these ideas a reality. Also Read
Dr. Ali Hasanain is Associate Professor of Economics at LUMS. He stated that “Creating and expanding trade gains is at the core of how economies grow.” EAG’s “Trade Connectivity”, book by EAG and today’s event attempt to bring attention to these issues and give a concise overview of major issues that are holding Pakistan’s international commerce down among the least-trading nations.( IMF)
Assistant Professor of Economics at IBA Dr. Aadil Nakhoda stated that Pakistan must make substantial progress in participation in global value chains. The current situation is very dire. There are still opportunities if Pakistan enters into regional trade agreements, lowers tariffs and focuses on quality through technical non-tariff means (NTMs). This will attract FDI to the manufacturing sector. To foster innovation and productivity improvement, the government must ensure that there is more competition. Pakistan’s progress is dependent on trade connectivity.
Adam Mulawarman Tugio stated that the “Trade Connectivity” Book is extremely insightful and contains pertinent recommendations. The trade between ASEAN countries and Pakistan is much smaller than the trade between China and ASEAN, i.e. $200 billion. FTAs offer many potential opportunities.
Ali Salman, Executive Director PRIME, stated that most trade liberalization that comes out of a trade agreement is unilateral. Pakistan must liberalize its trade policies and reduce taxes and tariffs. Only then will the country be able integrate into global value chains and encourage exports.