Demand led growth strategy should be the focus of new trade policy-Mian Shaukat Masud

  • April 02, 2009

The export led growth strategy has been at the center of growth policies of many developing countries including Pakistan due to the benefits of growth associated with it as witnessed in the experience of East Asian economies. However, due to recent global recession, demand for goods in international markets has reduced substantially leading to a hefty decline in Pakistani exports despite the fact that our currency has depreciated sufficiently. In these circumstances, a new development paradigm based on domestic demand led growth should be the focus of new Trade Policy to give boost to sagging economy. This was stated by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement.

ICCI President said Pakistan should shift its focus to domestic driving forces in order to reduce the heavy reliance on exports.  He said such growth paradigm requires the economy to develop its domestic market by necessarily improving the labor standards as this will provide the foundation for a virtuous circle of growth in which rising labor standards will encourage market development and market development promotes better labor standards. He said the government should increase its expenditure in public sector development programs which will act as a strong stimulator of productive investment and savings. 

Mian Shaukat Masud said government should invest particularly in labor intensive sectors of the economy to generate more employment opportunities that will create strong demand in domestic market. He said almost half of our labor force is engaged in the agriculture sector with around 70 percent of labor force working in rural areas. Therefore, government should put strong emphasis on the development of the rural economy which will also give a strong boost to domestic market development. He said Pakistan is a country of rising young population and by providing employment to this young talent, Pakistan can become a thriving domestic market which will lure more foreign direct investment providing much needed stimulation to trade and economic activities.