Finance Minister, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Dr Nadeem Ul Haque, Patron of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Past Presidents and Distinguished Members of the Society, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen! It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 28th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists. On behalf of the members of the PSDE, I would like to thank you, Finance Minister for having spared your precious time to open this important meeting. I would also like to especially thank our members and guests who have come from different parts of the country and from different continents to participate in the Conference. We are extremely pleased to see here today many young students—Pakistan’s future economists and business leaders—who I am sure are enthusiastic to learn from the many leading specialists attending this Conference on the critical economic issues and challenges that we face at the global, regional and national levels. Let me join Dr Musleh ud Din in especially welcoming Professor L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, who will be delivering The Mahbub Ul Haq Memorial Lecture later today; Professor M. Ali Khan, Abram Hutzler Professor of Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University, USA who will be delivering the Gustav Ranis Lecture; Dr Yannos Papantoniou, Former Economy and Finance Minister of Greece, and currently President of the Centre for Progressive Policy Research, Athens, who will deliver The Allama Iqbal Lecture; and Dr Ishrat Husain, Dean and Director, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan who will be delivering the Quaid-i-Azam Lecture this year. In continuation of the tradition started last year by the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE), the Society will this year be honouring Professor S. M. Naseem to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to the field of Economics and for his pioneering work on Pakistan.