nnual moot at Davos (Switzerland) is generally held in the first quarter of every year. This year, the moot was recently held under the auspices of World Economic. A large number of various stakeholders, economists, businessmen, researchers, academicians, bankers, financial experts, media-men and various persons representing civil society of the world gathered there to examine an interesting theme of the recent financial crisis in the world and the way forward.
An interesting debate took place and various presentations were given by the participants. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also participated in it and played a very positive, productive and vital role. This piece examines some of the positive roles delivered by him in the said World Economic Forum.
In the past several years, Pakistan was represented by persons who did not represent the true democratic spirit.
For the first time PM represented the country. Besides, delivering an excellent presentation, he had various sideline meetings with the leaders of the world and he tried his best to uplift the image of the country to attract foreign direct investment and also to toss across realities on the ground by advocating that Pakistan was a land of great opportunities and it could serve the business community and other stakeholders at large through developing business and industries.
His presentation was mainly focused on "Pakistan and its Neighbours" and "Reviving Global Economic Growth".
This piece would examine some of the major outcomes from Davos and positive contributions made by the honourable Prime Minister.
1. Common understanding was developed to comprehend the origin of the current world financial crisis and interest was ignited to develop solutions.
2. Efforts were initiated to stabilise the global economy by addressing systemic risks in the financial system by global world leaders.
3. A new World Economic Forum Task Force of business leaders, economists and other experts was launched to advise United Nation Climate Negotiations.
4. Process was agreed for public private consultations during 2009 on the reforms of International Financial Architecture.
5. Efforts were initiated to identify policy assumptions, regulatory deficiencies and market failure that led to the global economic crisis.
At the back of his mind, he delivered the agenda of uplifting the image of the country, mobilising the resources from multilateral institutions to handle the serious problems being faced by Pakistan, attracting FDI, expressing full determination to counter the menace of terrorism and ensure stability of South Asia region, helping to establish a special fund to handle global recession, particularly hitting developing countries.
Meetings were held with various media people, Secretary General of United Nations, Presidents of Maxico, South Africa, Finland and Ukraine and Prime Ministers of UK, South Korea and Sweden and Foreign Ministers of France and Turkey and Defense Ministers of Afghanistan. In a short span of time, he produced productive and synergistic outcomes which are briefly reviewed below:
PM Gilani urged upon the Asian Development Bank to favourably consider Pakistan's Annual Development Programme (ADP), lead role in forming a consortium to finance the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project. The President of ADB also agreed to disburse $0.5 billion to Pakistan under bank second "Pakistan Structural Transformation Programme Initiative" in the second quarter of 2009 and also to consider Pakistan request for inclusion in its Currency Swap Initiative.
He also persuaded him to accept request in continuation of HEC's Postgraduate Scholarship Programme and also for establishment of Engineering Universities in Pakistan in collaboration with Institutions of Excellence of West European and East Asian countries. He was also requested to extend funding for setting up of vocational and technological training institutions.
Standard Chartered Bank was selected to serve the province of Punjab in providing technical assistance to SME's and help country to achieve one of its Millennium Development Goals to give the above arrangements a practical shape. The Standard Chartered Bank and International Finance Corporation, Private Lending Arm of the World Bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this respect.
Several meetings were also held with leaders of various corporate. In this respect, Coca Cola agreed to set up a new plant near Hyderabad with a fresh investment of $200 million and to further start producing Mango concentrates and other juices from Pakistani fruits. This will attract FDI, add to industrial sector and also create job opportunities for the youth of Pakistan. He also addressed large gathering of Swiss and International Corporate Leaders for soliciting lucrative opportunities in numerous sectors of Pakistan for accelerating Socio Economic Development of Pakistan.
He proposed for establishing a special fund for developing countries with the basic objectives of coping with following global challenges:
a) Global Recession.
b) Changes and developing IFI rules to bring them in line with the existing global realities and convene a special United Nations General Assembly session at summit level to deliberate the current global economic crisis and chalk out a course for future.
He further stressed importance of market access for developing countries to tackle their socio-economic problems and further generate employment, in particular for the youth.
In the light of above, it is crystal clear that the PM Gilani's visit to Davos was a great success in clearing several misgivings about the country and uplifting the image of country.
Indeed, benefits would flow to Pakistan and a new golden chapter of prosperity in the country will dawn with poverty alleviation, promotion of employment and accelerating the socio-economic development of the country. These types of dividends would certainly flow out the new democratic set up of our country.