Inaugural Address

Author: Shaukat Aziz
Publication Year : 2001

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: The 17th Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) is taking place at a critical juncture of our economic history. The events of September 11 have changed the complexion of the global economy. Global economic prospects appear grim, at least, in the short-run. Developed and developing countries are witnessing their economic growth reduced or even turned negative owing to the slowdown in the global economy. Growth in international trade during 2001 may undergo one of the severest deceleration in modern times. As 2001 closed and a new year began some two weeks ago, the global economy is now balanced precariously between recession and recovery. Although the full impact of September 11 events is still to realised and evaluated, it has nevertheless, unleashed new and unpredictable forces that have substantially raised the risk of global downturn. Being the part of the global economy and that it has placed itself at the epicentre of global events, Pakistan has once again been thrust into the role of a front line state. Whatever happens to the global economy is bound to create temporary difficulties for Pakistan’s economy as well. But at the same time, Pakistan is also witnessing the openings of several opportunities to strengthen its economy. The challenge before us is two fold: how to minimise the loss caused by the temporary difficulties and how to position ourselves to translate the openings of opportunities into real gains for the country.