On 30th May 2019, The session commenced with the welcome remarks by Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery HI(M), (Retd), President CGSS.
The participants argued that national character is a multidimensional issue and serves as strength of the nation. We must learn from the past without dwelling into the past. Our own national character has transformed from inclusive to exclusive, tolerant to aggressive. Extreme polarization has divided us into segments which further leads to political, social and economic divisions. Pakistan is at the pivot of the world and we have converted our geostrategic asset to geostrategic curse. We need to start national character building and create sense of belonging to Pakistan. We are believing and hoping that God will sort out our all difficulties. We must create policy objectives and our actions must be according to these objectives. It is need of the time to engage our youth, there will be no success unless the youth is harnessed.
We can only develop if our growth rate is 7% consistently. Our current foreign debt rate is approximately 100 billion. Foreign reserves are not at satisfactory level. There has been a decrease of 8% in imports of oil and petroleum. There is a need to increase competitiveness and capacity. We need to rationalize our FTAs. We are not taking advantage of GSP plus status. While talking about the FATF, participants stated that we might get out of the Grey List because of the action taken by Government. The target is set about 5 billion for next year regarding revenue generation.
Despite all the challenges the economy of Pakistan has proved resilient. The primary factor that support the economy of Pakistan is the foreign remittances by overseas Pakistanis which fills up the gap between balances of payment to a significant extent. At a personal level, migrants experience gained abroad is linked to self improvement in terms of the circumstances prior to immigrating and this may be revealed in better living standards, higher education level.
Furthermore, the participants deliberated that we need to work on what is required and which resources Pakistan has in its kitty. We lack in planning in our economy. We have to phase our planning. There must be a joint monetary committee headed by the Prime minister with the representation of three major political parties of Pakistan. The key lessons for future are management, personnel/ national character.
Trade is the key and there is no wealth without connectivity. Furthermore, the participants were of the view that we have to identify high impact industry that can deliver in return. We have to device aggressive growth policy and think out of the box.
Few of the important speakers of the session included:
a. Mr. Ihsan Ghani: Ex-Coordinator, NACTA
b. Mr. Abdur Rauf Chaudhry – Former Federal Tax Ombudsman
c. Mr. Zahid Latif, President, Islamabad Stock Exchange
d. Mr. Aamir Ghauri – Editor, The News stated that we have become an isolated state
e. Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal – Former Federal Secretary of Information and Broadcasting
f. Mr. Shakeel Ahmed Ramay – Executive Director, Zalmi Foundation
g. Ambassador Amjad Majid Abbasi
h. Mr. Jawad Majid – Director Silk Bank
The session was also addressed by 10 other prominent financial/social sector speakers and the event marked the attendance of 80 people.