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Dreaming about Asian Tigers

By Saad Hafiz Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif restated his dream recently to turn Pakistan into an ‘Asian Tiger’. This title became synonymous with some East Asian nations that achieved high growth by pursuing an export-driven economic strategy. On the surface, Mr Sharif’s desire appears more like a pipedream and less a realistic goal. For a brief period in the 1960s, Pakistan did enjoy a higher level of economic growth and wealth creation like the Asian Tigers but that can offer little comfort today. In fact, the present economic fundamentals support the view that Pakistan is the sick man of the region with little prospect of being transformed into a rising economic tiger. The basic rules of competition remain heavily skewed in favour of a tiny elite led by the military, whose … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economy, south asia

Pakistan's economy: Hard times

by Raza Rumi Two years after the civilian government took office, there are few signs of economic recovery and this does not augur well for the fate of democratic governance in Pakistan. We are somehow doomed to bear the brunt of authoritarian regimes in social and economic terms. By the time a civilian government puts its house in order, the long and short marchers are ready to take over. The story this time has been no exception. Following the trends of the 1960s and the 1980s during the Musharrafian decade, unsustainable growth rates were touted as the raison d’etre for the apparent efficiency of a military regime. It is true that the Musharraf era inducted Pakistan into the globalized economic system, boosted domestic demand for consumer products and attracted huge doses … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

A response to "The new East India Company"

This article is in response to the criticism of IMF in the earlier article titled “The new East India Company”. I am a critic of IMF’s policies but the earlier article ticked me off as it was based on populist aphorisms with no reference to economics or any stats. I was surprised that it was written by authors claiming to be professors at a prestigious business school, tax consultants and writers of several books.  History  In second half of 2008, Pakistan was facing a crisis. Shaukat Tarin came up with three plans notoriously known as Plan A, B and C. ‘Plan’ was a misnomer as in reality they represented a pecking order for our begging bowl. Plan A involved approaching Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB). Plan B consisted of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan