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Year 2013, Ends on positive note for Pakistan’s economy

KARACHI: The year 2013 ended on a good note for Pakistan, the country saw a successful transition of power from one elected government to another, Pakistan Cricket team made several records winning seven bilateral series including ODI and Test, Pakistani cinema also get boost. Similarly some positive progress has been witnessed in terms of economic growth.

The biggest threat for the economy of Pakistan is power shortages. A positive step has been taken in this regard by the former president Asif Ali Zardari before the general elections 2013 and the transition of government to PML-N was the transformation of an idea, which was conceived by a young Pakistani civil engineer ‘Malik Aftab Ahmed Khan’ in mid-1950s, when an article of his was published by the Military College of Engineering, Risalpur for laying a gas pipeline from neighbouring country Iran.

               PAK-IRAN

The Pakistan's federal government approved a deal with Iran for laying the Pakistan's segment of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan on 30 January 2013 commonly known as Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline.

The construction of the Pakistani section was agreed on 27 February 2013.

Another move taken by Zardari government was the signing of contract for construction and operation of Gwadar Port to China. And Pakistan on February 18 2013 formally awarded a multi-billion dollars contract under which, the port which will remain the property of Pakistan but would be operated by the state-run Chinese firm — China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC). The contract signing ceremony was held in Islamabad and was attended by President Asif Ali Zardari Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian, some federal ministers, members of parliament and senior government officials.

             Sierra Exif JPEG

Gwadar Port, a warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in province of Balochistan.

Furthermore, a landmark accomplished by Pakistan was achievement of Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status under the rule of PM Nawaz Sharif. The European Parliament has granted GSP Plus status to Pakistan on Thursday through voting, it will be effective from January 1, 2014.

European Parliament took decision with 406 votes in favor of Pakistan out of 558; it will allow Pakistani products duty free access to European Union market.

The status will be beneficial for Pakistan’s textile sector allowing access to 28 European countries with no need of paying any duty. It is a good opportunity for textile exports of the country to get boost, which had been declining in Pakistan, as manufacturers and exporters were finding it hard to compete with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who already had duty-free access to European markets.

              GSP

It will provide positive growth of about $1 billion to Pakistan’s export and will be very much effective to boost the country’s economy, creating job opportunities for about 1 million women and youth of the country.

Pakistan's KSE 100 Index also witnessed the major boost at the 100-Index crossed the benchmark of 25000 points. The corporate sector of Pakistan has declined dramatically in the mid of year but in ending months of 2013, the market bounced back strongly and trend continues till the end.

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