Pakistan’s bid to achieve middle-income status linked to implementing policy reforms

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan’s ambition to achieve upper-middle income status by 2047 is contingent upon the strategic utilisation of its demographic dividend, advantageous geographic posi­tioning and the effective implementation of policy reforms. “The per capita income of Pakistan has improved in recent years, yet the nation grapples with such challenges that keep it behind other countries in the re­gion and the global arena,” points out Sajid Amin, Deputy Executive Director and found­ing head of Policy Solutions Lab at Sustain­able Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

He elaborated that one of the significant impediments to per capita income growth in Pakistan was the persistently high pop­ulation growth rate. “The rapid increase in the population puts pressure on avail­able resources and dilutes the benefits of economic growth, making it challenging to raise the income levels for each individu­al.” He emphasised the necessity of stra­tegic investments in education and skill development. “By aligning workforce ca­pabilities with market demands, Pakistan can ensure that its burgeoning population becomes a driving force for innovation and productivity, essential for elevating per capita income.” “To truly reach upper-middle income status, Pakistan must un­dergo a structural transformation. Heavy reliance on a few industries, coupled with insufficient diversification, makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks and hinders its ability to adapt to changing global dynamics,” he underscored while talking to WealthPK. Amin argued that such a shift was imperative for unleashing the full potential of the economy and en­suring sustainable and inclusive growth.

Meanwhile, Hamza Saeed Orakzai, Direc­tor of Strategic Planning at Special Technol­ogy Zone Authority (STZA), told WealthPK that the pursuit of upper-middle-income status should be accompanied by a com­mitment to sustainable development. “Pakistan’s ability to achieve upper-mid­dle-income status is linked to its capacity to embrace technological advancements. A commitment to research and develop­ment, fostering a culture of innovation, and adopting cutting-edge technologies can position Pakistan competitively and contribute to sustained economic growth.” 

He said that to create a robust technology ecosystem and digitisation, the government must ensure that its policies support col­laboration among the academia, startups, established tech companies, and foreign investors. “Stability in policy helps forge strong partnerships, leading to knowledge sharing, skill development, and overall sec­toral growth,” he asserted. Saeed Orakzai maintained that presently, the government was actively addressing challenges and working towards improving the economic well-being of its citizens. “Commendable steps include initiatives to nurture human capital development, implement institu­tional reforms, overhaul tax structures and boost investment and trade.” “If executed ef­fectively, these measures hold the potential to chart a path towards sustained economic growth, ultimately leading to an increase in per capita income,” he stressed.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt