JEDDAH, Saudi Arab – Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar has re-affirmed government’s resolve to further strengthen close cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and fellow member countries.
Addressing the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank here on Wednesday, he said that joint efforts could go a long way in bringing about prosperity and peace in the Muslim world. He appreciated IDB’s efforts in generously supporting Pakistan to put economy on a high growth trajectory.
The minister said that Pakistan has experienced a triumphant return to democracy and the new government at national and sub-national levels that took office after the general elections in 2013 has generated hope, expectancy and the economic activity in Pakistan.
He said that the government was concentrating upon economic and social progress to strengthen the economy and enhance its inclusiveness. He said the government has adopted strategies to overcome the macroeconomic challenges. Reviewing current economic policies resulting into robust growth, he said after a period of six years, Pakistan’s economy would grow by over four per cent this year. At the same time, inflation will remain in single digits, he said.
“Growth in both agriculture and industry has revived. Fiscal performance is also improving with deficit brought down to below six per cent from 8.8 per cent when the government took office,” he said. ‘This has been achieved due both to austerity in expenditures and an outstanding revenue collection performance which recorded an increase of 16.4 per cent in the first eleven months of the financial year,” he said.
“On external side, exports have maintained positive growth while remittances have also reached a record high of $14.33 billion in the first eleven months registering 12.39% growth. In the month of May 2014, remittances exceeded $1.4 billion – once again a record high,” the minister said. He stated that OIC member countries produce only 10.9 per cent of the world total GDP.
According to available economic forecasts, this share will not improve significantly in the short-term. On the other hand, the share of the OIC countries in the total GDP of the developing countries group has declined steadily and is currently recorded at 22.2 per cent. Moreover, intra-Islamic world economic disparities are also visible in the fact that only 10 countries produce 73.4 per cent of the total OIC countries’ output’.
Dar said that the role of the IDB becomes ever more important to move ahead and to help member countries reform their governance structures, remove structural disparities through growth and development in an equitable and sustainable manner. This necessitates that the IDB management must reflect on contemporary global economic realities if it has to remain as effective into the future as it has proved in recent times, the minister said.