The international economic system is in a flux and institutions are evolving to adjust to new realities. Talking to Asad Ejaz Butt on Political Economy this week on Naya Daur TV, renowned political commentator Mosharraf Zaidi said economic assistance to countries like Pakistan shall continue but might take new forms and perhaps new conditionalities. Talking about the Pakistani delegation’s performance in Geneva, he said that, “while I won’t call it a big achievement, it’s difficult to ignore the diplomatic spotlight that Pakistan received – each time Pakistan is in the news and the international community gathers to talk about it, it’s a diplomatic win”.
He also said that 2023 brings hope for Pakistan in the form of a recessionary force that is building up in the US, which could see the dollar slow down in the months ahead, and because of potential growth trends in China which is always a good omen for Pakistan’s economy.
Explaining the suggestions he made to Pakistan’s policymakers in one of his recent articles, he said that the ‘polycrisis’ could end and sustainable growth could be achieved if Pakistan focuses on the following five things:
1. Young decision makers – median age is 23 but median age of policy makers and ministers is in the early 70s. Decisions makers should love long enough to see the results of the decisions they took in the past and remain accountable for them.
2. We need to reimagine Pakistan’s position in the world by setting a milestone like an observer status at the G20 in Brazil next year and a full member, say in the next 5 to 10 years.
3. “Life sentence generalists” that occupy Pakistan’s civil service right now should be replaced by specialists who do not have a lifetime tenure and can be shown the door based on poor performance.
4. Deification of small business – protect them from vagaries of the market, politics, geography and a weak rupee and provide them a route for ‘lifecycle conversion’. Large business don’t grow on trees, their basis are small businesses that expand to become large.
5. Democratic stability is vital for sustainable growth – good or bad, every government should be allowed to complete its term. Caretaker governments will never be a solution.
Watch the full episode here, exclusively on Naya Daur TV: