Pakistan’s 12th Five-Year Plan coming soon

As a good omen, Pakistan’s 12th five-year macroeconomic plan is highly likely to be unveiled in coming weeks as deliberations to all stakeholders have been given final touches envisaging CPEC’s short-term and long-term trajectories.

Among other economic drivers, CPEC seems to be an important growth driver being given special preference in the conceptualization of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The 12th Five-Year Plan is due over the last months and it delayed on the critical point whether it should be a 5-year plan or 3-year plan.

Similar to CPEC, proposed ambitious objectives of the 12th Five-Year Plan are inclusive seeking sustainable growth, strengthening the fundamentals of the economy to sustain growth momentum for a longer period, rural transformation, industrial development especially SMEs, Private Investment and Competitiveness, Clean and Sustainable Energy and improving productivity. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals to ensure social sector growth and improving governance are other key objectives. In line with the government’s vision, the emphasis during the plan period will remain on social sectors, poverty alleviation, job creation, and improvement of governance for ensuring transparency and overcoming corruption.

The 12th Five-Year Plan aims to rejuvenate the industrial development of Pakistan through Special Economic Zones (SEZs), invigorate the blue economy, and develop Gwadar port oil city under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Economist Abdulah Baig said that the 12th Five-Year Plan and CPEC phase 2 are closely knitted with each other. “It envisages for improving and developing industries at SEZs with Chinese relocation, relocation of Chinese export-focused light manufacturing and consumer products, expansion of IT Sector through joint ventures and transfer of technology and capacity enhancement to increase productivity,” he added.

The government has also planned a ”Gateway of Prosperity” deliverables under CEPC during the next five years by taking actions that include: (i) completion of early harvest projects, (ii) optimum benefits from the CPEC projects through third-country participation, (ii) connect Gwadar Port of Pakistan to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang via Eastern and Western corridor, (iii) socio-economic uplift in areas around CPEC Corridors by interventions through Joint Working Group (JWG) on Socio-Economic Development, and (iv) jump-start Agriculture cooperation.

The 11th Five-Year Plan ended in 2018. The 11th Five-Year Plan missed most of the targets. During the 11th Five Year Plan period (2013-18), the GDP growth remained relatively high (4.7% average over 2013-14 to 2017-18). However, this growth masks many inequalities like the crop sector which employs 38% of the workforce yet only grew by 0.8 percent on average during the plan period. The growth was primarily driven by higher private and public consumption beyond the production capacity of the economy. Pakistan’s consumption rate at 94% of GDP is the highest in peer developing countries and even in South Asia.

Source: World Trade Times

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