Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has cited three critical structural flaws in the country and said that “no successful country has ever grown this way”.
In his latest blog written for The Economist, he added that the nation was widely thought ready to “become the next Asian tiger”, reports Geo News.
However, in 2022, Pakistan found itself mired in its latest economic crisis.
“Pakistan today is one of the most consumption-oriented economies in the world, with consumption accounting for more than 90 per cent of our GDP (gross domestic product). By contrast, we only invest 15 per cent of our output and export just 10 per cent. Annual inflows of foreign direct investment are less than 1 per cent of the GDP,” he wrote.
“These sorry statistics are a reflection of the flaws in our economic model. No successful country has ever grown this way.”
The Prime Minister further wrote: “This one (latest economic crisis) is born out of the most challenging global policy environment of our lifetime, characterised by a commodity supercycle, historic monetary tightening at America’s Federal Reserve and a conflict in Europe that is tearing apart the post-war global order.
“But it also stems from home-grown weaknesses: weaknesses that have been left unaddressed for the better part of five decades; weaknesses that have forced us to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) multiple times during that time. This is not how successful nations are built.”
Shehbaz then cited three critical structural flaws that stand out in the country, Geo News reported.
“These have prevented economic take-off, stunted our growth and led to repeated boom-bust cycles since the late 1980s,” he said.
“We have turned inwards in a way that has prevented us from reaping the benefits of globalisation through the free exchange of people, goods, capital and ideas. Our ability to make ? and keep ? friends on the international stage has significantly weakened over time.”
The premier lamented that Pakistan hardly makes anything according to the demands of the world as the local companies remain very comfortable operating within the borders.
On the occasion of Pakistan’s diamond jubilee, he said that as the country turned 75, the moment merits serious introspection.
Shehbaz said that the fifth-largest country in the world, where two out of every three people are below the age of 30 and full of aspirations, finds itself stuck with an income level of just $1,798.
“Every third person lives on less than $3.20 a day. And less than a quarter of our women work outside the home; more than a third of our people can neither read nor write.”