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Pakistan’s economy on track, says Forbes report

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s economy is doing good and has undergone a series of positive developments that merit recognition, US magazine Forbes said.

The developments set the table for the sort of policies and investments needed to move the country on a path traveled by Indonesia or Brazil.

The report pointed out that the country’s economy has been growing for a number of years and it is back on track to complete an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme from start to finish for the first time in its history.

“Pakistan’s growing middle class, which will expand from an estimated 40 million people today to 100 million people by 2050, represents a powerful engine for change, demanding both improved services and greater access to opportunities.”

Pakistan, the report said, is the sixth largest country by population in the world and is projected to become the fourth largest country by 2050. “To understand Pakistan requires analysis through its own sui generis set of issues and opportunities.”

The report noted that Pakistan had its first peaceful democratic transition in 2013 and currently the military, the civilian government, and civil society are broadly aligned on security issues.

“Pakistan’s economy has been growing for a number of years, and it is on track to complete an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program from start to finish for the first time in its 70-year history,” the report said.

“Pakistan’s growing middle class, which will expand from an estimated 40 million people today to 100 million people by 2050, represents a powerful engine for change, demanding both improved services and greater access to opportunities.”

“Saudi Arabia of Coal”

The report defined the energy sector as one key area of expanding demand and potential growth.

“Pakistan’s abundant coal reserves and access to water flowing from the Himalayas mean it could be the “Saudi Arabia of Coal” and the “Saudi Arabia of Hydropower.” Pakistan also has significant wind, solar and geothermal potential.

The report said that to seize its full potential, Pakistan is going to need more capable people to lead industries that will carry its future growth; run it’s national, provincial and city governments; and grow its universities.

“The Pakistani government knows you can’t have a twenty-first-century economy with eighteenth-century basic education levels for girls in its rural areas,” the article concluded.

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