The process of globalization presents opportunities as well as challenges to developing countries such as Pakistan. Interestingly and amazingly enough, Pakistan has been ranked as one of the top ten performers globally and the top reformer in the South Asian region in a recent study conducted by World Bank.
Pakistan surely has got lots and lots of potential and is a key player in the region. Our strategic location not only offers immense opportunities but also poses enormous challenges. So it is the need of hour that government should work hard and sincerely to develop transport and trade corridors to leverage and benefit from this location. Recently, the government circle has launched a new notion, that is very charmingly called as ‘National Trade Corridor’, which is primarily aimed at upgrading and expanding our rail, road, air and port networks.
One could only wish that this wouldn’t be yet another paper dream, rather it would serve as a gateway for the access of our goods and services, as well as a convenient transit route for other countries to the Central Asian markets. Pakistan has the advantage of a unique location by being at the cross-roads of South Asia, Central and West Asia and the Middle East.
In order to make Pakistan a real Asian tiger, a dynamic leader is needed, whose vision should be to develop Pakistan as a modern, progressive, moderate, and forward looking Islamic welfare state with stable democracy, strong national defence and a knowledge based economy. What is needed is the clear sense of direction and commitment to maintain a stable and peaceful environment, internally as well as externally. Economic policy should be essentially shaped and underpinned by national interests and well-being of the people of Pakistan.
In order to sustain the economic development, government should continuously monitor and coordinate economic plight and trade promotion efforts with the concerned ministries and the Missions as well as at the multilateral level. The task is indeed made more complex and difficult by the establishment and rapid expansion of the WTO.
Pakistan should make every effort to create an environment conducive for such cooperation, both in the political and economic dimensions. We have the potential to become the hub of cooperation for energy, trade and tourism. We can rock, but we have to work very hard.