Good news on the economy coming out today as reports that a rebound in the manufacturing sector may push economic growth by 3.4%. This news comes at the same time that the US has assured that it will support the production of improved agricultural technology in the country. An increase in both manufacturing and agricultural sectors could do more than just pull the national economy out of a slump, but actually provide significant improvements in incomes across the nation. Trade could also see great improvement as Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to undertake a US$20 billion project to upgrade a railway link from Islamabad to Istanbul, basically to transport cargo more efficiently between the two countries and ultimately on to Europe.
The railway link will help improve the manufacturing and agricultural sectors as it will create greater access for exports to neighboring countries, improving Pakistan’s ability to sell it’s goods and increase trade with other nations.
The move follows an agreement in November to increase the level of bilateral trade between the two countries to $2 billion from the existing $741 million in a couple of years. Analysts believe that the 6,566 kilometer rail project from Islamabad to Istanbul, with 1,990km of track in Pakistan, 2,570km in Iran and 2,006km in Turkey, will open new avenues of bilateralcooperation as well as strengthening trade and economic ties.
While Pakistan still needs to improve foreign investment to maximize the returns on these policies, UAE has pledged to help encourage private sector investment. The greatest obstacle to increased foreign investment continues to be the security situation, but with the new economic policies being made and the assistance of friendly countries like Turkey, UAE, and USA, Pakistan could see a dramatic economic turnaround by years end.