Diversifying the dormant economy  

Due to the increased use of automation and algorithmic solutions for complex problems, there is growing interest in the Blue Economy and renewable resources that are likely to play a significant role in our collective future. Many countries are diversifying their economies to take advantage of these opportunities. For example, Saudi Arabia is shifting from a petro-fueled economy to one that focuses on industrial technology and tourism as a primary source of revenue. This includes the creation of modern mega-cities like NEOM and the construction of industrial zones. India’s IT exports have surpassed the combined output of Saudi Arabia and Iraq’s oil exports in the past year, while tech giants from Silicon Valley and other parts of the world are competing in the fields of infotech and artificial intelligence. Two leading rival contenders, Open AI, and DeepMind, are vying for dominance in the market. The recent flawed launch of the Bing chatbot resulted in a loss of over 100 billion dollars for its parent company, underscoring the high stakes involved in this competition. With many countries diversifying their economies and seeking new sources of revenue, Pakistan cannot afford to lag behind in the utilization of its human and natural resources.

Unfortunately, Pakistani society has traditionally viewed buying and selling plots of land as the only feasible option for doing business, while investing in housing societies is perceived as a safe bet. For example, some of the world’s best arable land has been converted into housing developments such as D.H.A Gujranwala, reducing agricultural output and bypassing private-sector investment from start-ups and the industrial sector. In contrast, countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have converted barren land into agricultural land, highlighting missed opportunities in Pakistan. Given its enormous potential for enhancing agricultural output, boosting its tourism sector, and nurturing its IT and artificial intelligence industries, Pakistan needs to diversify its economy to take advantage of these opportunities.



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