PSDE/PIDE in collaboration with ECOSF organized the conference with the theme “Redefining Prosperity Paths in Changing Global Economy Opportunities and Challenges for Pakistan

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A Conference titled “Redefining Prosperity Paths in Changing Global Economy Opportunities and Challenges for Pakistan” was organized by Pakistan Society of Development Economics (PSDE)/Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in collaboration with ECOSF during 33rd Annual General Meeting of PIDE from 12-14 December 2017 at Islamabad-Pakistan. The conference was the largest annual academic gathering of the economists, social scientists and policy makers in Pakistan. The conference brought world’s renowned development practitioners in dialogue with local experts to discuss and determine appropriate strategies to move forward and take cognizant response to the economic challenges. The conference offered excellent learning and networking opportunities to the participants and sponsors.

The Conference was inaugurated by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and the Patron PSDE. In his opening address, the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mr. Sartaj Aziz complimented PIDE, PSDE, ECOSF and other collaborators on hosting its annual conference on a topical issue. Mr. Aziz said that in order to make progress at a rapid pace, a viable alternative to the entrenched paradigm is the Chinese Economics. He said that the Chinese do not follow a linear approach but rather follow a curvilinear approach, based on the philosophy of yin and yang, to solve their problems. The Chinese focus on the collective good of the people, the result of which is there for everyone to see as China has achieved unprecedented growth rate of 9-10% over a sustained period of time. Highlighting the recent resurgence of the Pakistani economy, Mr. Aziz said that Pakistan’s economy has seen a turnaround due to various reasons, including increase in energy supply. He said that economic growth of 5.3% in 2016-17 was the highest in the last 9 years, agriculture and manufacturing has improved, interest rate is low, infrastructure spending has increased and international agencies are presenting an optimistic outlook of the Pakistani economy.

The Federal Minister for Interior and Planning, Development and Reforms, H.E. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal also delivered the lecturer during the conference. In his remarks, Prof. Iqbal said that the government has made credible progress on all fronts, including energy, connectivity, security, and infrastructure. He further said that the old paradigms of growth and development are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the present scenario and new drivers are emerging that we need to recognize and capitalize on. In particular, technology in various forms is now playing a key role. Developments in robotics are changing the existing dynamics by providing developed countries an edge to compete with developing countries on low costs arising from low wages and cheap labour. Developing countries will be unable to capitalize on this traditional edge for much longer and need to adapt quickly lest they become dinosaurs and fade away into oblivion like the Nokias and Motorolas of today.

ECOSF also invited two participants from ECO Countries, Prof. Vilayat Valiyev, Director Institute for Scientific Research on Economic Reforms, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Dr. Mehdi Yazdani, Assistant Professor of Economics Department of Economics, Shahid Beheshti University of Iran to attend the conference. Both the participants contributed in technical sessions and shared their experience about economics in their countries and the world.

Other renowned speakers were Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Planning, Development and Reform. Dr. Ejaz Qureshi, Research Program Manager, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Mr. Marcel Stallen, Chief Technical Advisor Balochistan, Food Agricultural Organization, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Professor Emeritus, IBA. Dr. Nadeem Ul Haque, Dr. Waqar Masood, former Federal Secretary Finance, Dr. Zafar Mueen Nasir, Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University and others.

During three day conference, the issues addressed were macroeconomic policies in changing global and local landscape, regional economic integration, and agricultural reforms.

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