Pakistan economy is expected to show growth in excess of five percent in the current fiscal year highest in the nine years because of better industrial growth, revival of agriculture and restoration of peace.
According to a document received from Planning Commission and initial remarks of Ahsan Iqbal, minister for Planning Commission, the credit goes to the economic team of the government for expansion in industrial sector, revival of agriculture, significant growth in services, construction and electricity generation, and large scale manufacturing sectors. The economy has started to show signs of sustained growth momentum owing to restoration of peace, macroeconomic stabilization and fiscal consolidation. International economic agencies and donors are appreciating revival of Pakistan economy; positive ratings for financial and economic stability and upward revision of Pakistan’s growth by targets by IMF and World Bank are positive signs.
Pakistan’s ranking in terms of Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) improved at 122nd position in 2016-17 compared to 126th position in 2015-16 amongst 138 countries. Similarly, position in the Doing Business global rankings improved from 148th to 144th. Standard & Poor’s upgrading Pakistan’s long-term credit rating from B minus to B and improved ranking on Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (2017) at 124th in 136 countries are encouraging signs. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2017), Pakistan has the second highest ‘perceived opportunity and capability’ after Iran when compared with Iran, China, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The overall sentiment in the economy is upbeat. Pakistan Stock Exchange was the best performing market in Asia in 2016. Significant boost to the market has come from the sale of 40 percent strategic shares of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to Chinese Consortium – the first venture of Chinese bourse outside China. Businesses, particularly foreign investors and companies operating in Pakistan are optimistic about the prospects and profits. The latest Perceptions and Investment Survey of Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry indicates that services sector, chemicals , cement, non-metallics and real estate are the most booming sectors in the economy (OICCI, March 2017).