Disproving Naysayers, Economy Growing

Business news leader Bloomberg reporting today that the economy continues to grow with exports outpacing imports which narrowed the trade gap to 39 per cent.

Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed by 39 percent in March as exports from the country grew at a faster rate than imports.

The trade gap narrowed to $920 million in the ninth month of the country’s financial year, from $1.5 billion in the year- earlier period, according to a statement posted on the website of the Islamabad-based Federal Bureau of Statistics. Overseas sales rose 41 percent to $2.5 billion, while imports increased 4 percent to $3.4 billion.

This welcome sign of economic improvement comes shortly after Asian Development Bank and Finance Ministry predicted an up tick in economic growth for the coming fiscal year.

Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow 4 percent in the coming financial year starting July 1, picking up steam again after devastating floods pushed back growth to around 3 percent this year, officials said on Thursday.
improving economy

“We are looking at a growth rate of 4 percent for the next year because of a good services sector and on hopes of better farm output,” said a Finance Ministry official who did not want to be identified.

The figure compares with a 3.7 percent growth forecast by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its “Outlook 2011” report released on Wednesday.

Some economists believe the 4 pc growth prediction is actually too low. “Our own (growth) forecast is close to 4.5 percent,” economist Sayem Ali told Daily Times.

Taking advantage of this positive news, Ambassador Haroon discussed with a group of international businessmen the success of government economic policy and the growing interest of foreign investors in Pakistan’s economic potential.

Apprising the entrepreneurs of the latest hopeful state of Pakistani economy, Ambassador Haroon said Islamabad has taken a number of steps to restore macro-economic stability such as phased removal of subsidies on petroleum and power prices, tightening of monetary policy, increasing revenue and controlling expenditures while at the same time reducing borrowing from the state bank.

He said the government is also focused on improving energy situation in the country throguh installation of new power plants as well as making use of alternate energy sources and encouraging conservation practices.

The government’s timely intervention and introduction of corrective measures have helped achieve better economic indicators. Restoring investors’ confidence, ensuring economic well-being of the people through infrastructure development and increasing economic opportunities are some of the priority areas for the government.

Naysayers will continue looking for reasons to doubt. But the economic data does not paint a gloomy picture. Having overcome the devastating floods and ongoing terrorism, the economy continues to go up because Pakistan’s value is higher than the critics are willing to admit. Even if critics at home would rather ignore the positive signs, the rest of the world sees the potential for Pakistan’s economic growth and wants to be a part of the success.

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