Pakistan should benefit from its strategic location, says World Bank MD

ISLAMABAD: The chief operating officer and managing director of World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, underscored the importance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying “Pakistan should effectively take benefit of its strategic location for achieving economic objectives".

Indrawati said while addressing a session on the country’s economic growth at Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Tuesday.

The World Bank MD said Pakistan has shown great economic progress during the last few years due to the right steps taken by the government; however, she emphasised that the country needs to do much more to compete at regional as well as global level.

Indrawati said “Pakistan has a huge potential of human as well as natural resources that need to be tapped properly”.

“Pakistan’s growing middle class was representing a powerful engine for change,” she said. Terming macro-economic stability of the country as encouraging, Indrawati stressed that a lot needs to be done. While referring to the peaceful transfer of power from one democratic government to another in 2013, the World Bank MD said “it is a good sign and a critical achievement for Pakistan”.

Indrawati said Pakistanis have proved their resilience in the face of extremist attacks, natural disasters, frequent floods and extreme weather.

“But I want to focus on what, in my view, are the two most important challenges, both obvious and urgent.

To reach its full potential Pakistan needs to make better use of its people and its position in the neighborhood and the world,” she stressed.

She said that Pakistan is the 6th most populous country of the world with half of its population under 24 years of age, adding that “the country needs to effectively use its human resource and facilitate their participation through all means”.

Indrawati particularly mentioned the drop-out rate of students at country’s primary and secondary levels. She also highlighted the importance of gender equality in the development process, terming it indispensable for enhancing productivity.

“Attracting foreign and local investment was imperative for sustained economic growth, in addition to consensus on economic strategies across the political spectrum,” she maintained.

The address was attended by vice chancellors, faculty members, research scholars and students. Meanwhile, over 60 universities of the country were also connected through video-conferencing.
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