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Development outlook: Innovation, value addition key to economic growth

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday underscored the need for promoting innovation, value addition, quality improvement and competitiveness for achieving higher economic growth.

They were speaking at the seminar titled “Creating Capabilities for Growth”, organised by the Consortium for Development Policy Research and the International Growth Centre.

The energy crisis, lack of organisational capacity, political and security instability, absence of competitiveness and procedural bottlenecks were outlined as key hurdles to the economic growth.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan said availability of sustainable energy, diversification in manufacturing, innovation in products, commitment to quality and use of latest technology could ensure competitiveness in exports.

He suggested that all stakeholders must play a key role in their respective sectors for improving the growth. He called for firm coordination between the academia and industries for promoting research and development, which was a key to producing demand-oriented products.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Asad Umar suggested enhancing the capacity of government functionaries for the implementation of policies in order to meet the targets. “There is complete weakness of our state institutions in the implementation of policies,” he remarked.

He stressed the need for revamping institutional and governance structures for upholding transparency and effectiveness in the system, adding the existing system was ineffective and could not meet modern era’s requirements.

Umar recommended research-based policies and programmes for economic success.

Similar to the corporate sector, he said, there was also a need for specialisation in state functionaries. “Ordinary bureaucrats have little knowledge of many subjects to cope with modern-day economic dynamics.”

The lawmaker also recommended enhancing the compensation and perks of government officials for attracting potential manpower. Additionally, ending political interference in policy matters is also essential for transparency and development.

International Growth Centre’s Dr Navid Hamid said the industry in Pakistan was in trouble due to declining exports, growth rate and employment, saying only the rate of taxes was increasing.

He pointed out that China’s declining exports in the world market was a good opportunity for Pakistan to increase its exports to these markets. “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is also a good opportunity as besides establishing trade zones, China can also relocate its industries to Pakistan,” he said.

He underlined some key challenges in the way of growth including energy crisis, complicated customs and taxation procedures, unskilled labour and lack of innovation and value addition.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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