‘Pakistan on track for establishing knowledge economy’ Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said Pakistan is embarked upon an ambitious plan to lay strong foundations for building knowledge economy in the country.

“We have to become beneficiary of 21st century in terms of reaping the dividends of knowledge economy through proactive action rather to fall victim to new challenges,” he said while speaking at the convocation ceremony of Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) Islamabad.

Ahsan said that Pakistan is blessed with huge youth population and this can be used as a demographic dividend for sustainable development and knowledge economy. He said the youth population would play an instrumental role to take the country into top ten economies of the world by 2047 when the country would be celebrating hundred years of its independence.

Ahsan Iqbal said that following the years of sluggish economic performance, Pakistan has turned the tide during present regime by recovering strongly to reach the point of economic takeoff. “The entire world is recognising the improving economic indicators of the country by declaring it as safe heaven for billions of dollars Chinese investment,” he added.

The minister described political stability and social solidarity panacea to keep the momentum of growth and said that this makes a country attractive destination for foreign investment. He pointed out that discontinuation of policies in the past played havoc with national development and cited the examples of Karachi-Peshawar Motorway, which would have been completed in 2000 if the work on it would not have stopped by past regimes other than PML-N.

The minister declared that with commissioning of CPEC, Bin Qasim Power Plant, Sahiwal Power Plant, Thar and LNG based power plants, 10,000MW energy would be added to national grid by 2018.

He commended the work of Pakistani engineers working with Chinese counterparts to make the country self-reliant in energy and called upon the engineers’ fraternity to utilise their expertise and talent for development and betterment of the country.

He said that engineers played an important role in making Pakistan’s security impregnable and now we must develop commercial applications of technological competencies for creating an economic impact. Successful economies develop strong academia-research link.

The minister particularly emphasised the need to project the soft image of the country in the world and by shunning cynicism and half glass empty mentality, which always portray a negative image of the country.

“We must believe in ourselves and we can solve every crises through unity and genius, as our forefathers did after creation of this country,” he impressed upon the graduating students of PIEAS. Ahsan Iqbal said that the present government has chalked out Vision-2025 to put the country into top 25 economies of the world by 2025.

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