ISLAMABAD: Pakistan faces a barricade on the highway to faster progress. And the identification of this barricade is possible only through the indicators that are relevant.
In this context, the most relevant is the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), along with increment in exports as well as investment in key sectors. Over the past decade, Pakistan never seemed to take off in the export and investment sectors. Thereby, GDP growth was restricted to below 5%.
That is a discouraging situation for an economy that has all the potential to have GDP at minimum 7%, export growth at nearly 15% and investment in the engineering, production and marketing sectors at minimum 20%. Furthermore, it is extremely saddening that Pakistan could not improve substantially upon its exports which stood at $7.8 billion in 1999 and grew to $17 billion by 2007, but no further between 2008 and 2017.
Exports are not just an indicator in the progress of foreign exchange earnings, but also in the situation of balance of payments and the ability to import advanced technology and attract softer loans and investments for faster growth.