In collaboration with Punjab Planning and Development Board, CDPR and IGC hosted a seminar on Tracing Bangladesh’s Development Trajectory: Identifying Lessons for Pakistan on 27th December at the P&D Board, which was led by Dr. Sadiq Ahmed, Senior Policy Advisor for Bangladesh. The seminar was attended by notable officials from Planning and Development (P&D) Department, and was moderated jointly by Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Chairman P&D Mr. Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, as well as Joint Chief Economist P&D Dr. Aman Ullah Khan.
Dr. Sadiq began by describing Bangladesh’s socioeconomic progress and the emerging challenges, and then illustrated key takeaways on how Pakistan can enhance its growth trajectory to unlock great development potential. This comparative study on the two countries’ contrasting progress was enlightening and enabled a dialogue between the attendees and Dr. Sadiq, to discuss Bangladesh’s policy growth drivers, which included high national savings, private investment, and exports. These achievements were possible through Bangladesh’s macroeconomic stability, deregulation, and strong commitment to its social sector: such as female inclusion in the workforce – and are potential strategies that Pakistan could pursue.
The dialogue emphasized potential development avenues for Pakistan, such as improving the readymade garments and textile sector to expand its export market. It also raised the dire need for developing Pakistan’s social sector, which includes health, education, and gender empowerment. The urgent need for intervention is apparent in how over 40% of Pakistan’s under-five children are stunted (Hyder & Ersado, 2023) which depicts how nutrition programs must be streamlined on federal and provincial levels immediately. Social sector development could in turn, maximise Pakistan’s human capital, which is one of its greatest potential strengths. Climate finance and climate change mitigation are also shared concerns between the two countries, which require immediate policy action.
Furthermore, the seminar provided a thorough and comprehensive analysis of Pakistan’s potential for development, and valuable recommendations for Punjab’s Planning and Development Board, as it prepares its Annual Development Programme.
Hyder, Z., & Ersado, L. (2023, June). Addressing Pakistan’s High Level of Stunting, Now! Retrieved from World Bank Blogs: https://blogs.worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/addressing-pakistans-high-level-stunting-now
The discussion drew upon the following presentation:
Bangladesh Development Performance — Progress and Emerging Challenges December 2023