Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Role of Productivity, Quality, and Innovation in Making CPEC Work for Pakistan (The Allama Iqbal Lecture)

Why do I say, this is a very important topic because for simple reason. When I looked at this topic when brief was given to me, I was a surprised because I am not in touch with this area for the last couple of years. The reason is historical, as you can see it is very brief to test role of productivity quality innovation in making CPEC work for Pakistan. The word CPEC was first heard when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2009 first looked at economic corridors. They were thinking that every corridor should have at least two countries to make economic sense. Today we look at this that there are two countries China and Pakistan, but the implication of this project of these two countries or in other words this corridor is far away from effort and benefit these two countries put in. The second thing is that the word economic corridor if I recall correctly the original corridor is actually the trade corridor or transport corridor. This was the discussion in ADB at that time, then the ADB institute is said to focus on the trade corridor because the interest was in trade; to move from one point to the other, from one border to other, from one country to other. But the issue is something to do with trade. This has been said to enhance trade but it should also promote wellbeing of citizen who live along the corridor both from start to finish and in between and hence the term economic corridor can come about in a big way. Today we see talks by many governments and interest groups about the development of these economic corridors. The big question off course is that this entire works is new or we have old philosophy and old thinking. Because if the economic corridor is along the coast or journey of economic corridor find’s that there is the need to build infrastructure, need to develop industrial path for example and my work with the agency such as the World Bank and research in the economic development you find that some countries have gone to large extent in the way of the industrial development path. I can give examples even the region I come from that is in south Asia, and that’s as mall country with 6 or 7 million people, there are 11 industrial paths and all are located in the free trade zone. So for this country it is said that every province must have an industrial path located in the free trade zone because by this they want focus on export or focus on export processing. Of course this is another discussion altogether that how we should determine industrial path is for export or it is for manufacturing. * Mark Goh K. H. <[email protected]> is Professor, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


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