Our yesterday’s piece on the subject, highlighted two areas where Trade Policy (2012-2015) fell short of its promises – a $95 billion export target and growth in service exports. Today, we look into some more shortfalls.
Recently the Lahore School of Economics hosted its eleventh annual conference on Management of the Pakistan Economy with a focus on the prospects and challenges of Pakistan as a regional manufacturing hub.
The inflation tally just keeps on dropping. In March, the monthly Consumer Price Index tapered by 2.5 percent in March taking the nine-month average to 5.1 percent. Don’t be surprised if the CPI drops lower; around 1.5 percent next month. But that does not mean that prices are falling the way it happened in the last few months. The lower commodity prices, which have significantly brought down the transportation and food price indices, have made the base too high.
That the first ever imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment touched Pakistan’s coasts a few days ago is an achievement in itself, especially when no major energy projects whether coal or hydro have materialized as promised by the government in office. The plan from the beginning was to use imported LNG for the ailing power generation in the country and the fertilizer sector. Also there should be no denying of the fact that Engro completed its LNG terminal in record time of 11 months.
Fixed income funds are not happy anymore! Recall that it wasn’t long ago when fixed income investors were basking in double-digit returns. But times are now changing while the returns are already in single-digit territory.
The Ministry of Commerce has been under some pressure lately in light of the recent disappointing numbers for Pakistan’s exports. This comes at a time when the Ministry is close to submitting the next Trade Policy Framework (2015-2018), which is due sometime this year. One asks: how effective are these policies, and just how many of its stated goals did the Ministry of Commerce meet in its previous policy (2012-2015)?
When insurance regulations were being stiffer around the globe in recent years, Pakistan was sleeping. A classic example lies in the standard minimum paid-up capital requirement for insurance companies pending since 2007. But better late than never! We are now slowly and gradually joining the club.