Lahore School of Economics

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Lahore School Fourth Annual Conference on Management of Pakistan Economy: Ensuring Stable And Inclusive Growth

he Fourth Annual Conference on Management of the Pakistan Economy is being held in Lahore School of Economics (Center for Research in Economics and Business) on 24-25 April, 2008. The focus of the fourth conference is on Ensuring Stable And Inclusive Growth. The underlying objective of the conference is to promote a dialogue/discussion on key economic management and strategic issues facing the country today, particularly with regards to decisions, both immediate and medium term, that will have to be made by policy makers in the new (post election) federal and provincial governments.

The topics and broad areas that would be covered in the different sessions are as follows:

Session 1 – The Unfinished Reform Agenda: During the last decade and a half, significant reforms have been carried out in the areas of trade, banking and finance, taxation and fiscal policy, State Bank autonomy and monetary policy, etc. However, the process is far from complete. Papers on the issue of second generation reforms, as well as an assessment of the past reforms would be included in this session.

Session 2 – Inclusive Growth and Poverty: Pakistan has experienced rapid economic growth over the last five years, but the benefits of this growth have accrued primarily to the rich. For political stability and sustainability of the growth process, inclusive growth and poverty reduction are essential. Papers in this session will address issues of income inequalities, poverty reduction and inclusive growth.

Session 3 – Panel Discussion: Regional Inequalities: There are imbalances in the level of economic development and in the recent rate of growth, both between different provinces and within each province. Regional inequalities not only can be a source of political instability, but also can be a drag on the economic development of the country. The panel discussion will focus on the issues of regional inequality, particularly as to how these problems may be addressed.

Session 4 - Rethinking Development Strategy: Because of globalization, emergence of China as a manufacturing super power and the recent developments in India, it is necessary re-evaluate our development strategy. Traditionally, the manufacturing sector has been the focus of any development strategy. However, in South Asia, the services sector not only accounts for over 50% of the GDP but in recent years has been the leading sector in terms of economic growth. Papers in this session will focus on the implications of these developments for the future development strategy.

Session 5 – Panel Discussion: Inflation, Macroeconomic Stability, and Growth: In Pakistan, large subsidies (both energy and food related) have been used to protect consumers from the increase in international prices. Not only are there doubts about the sustainability of these subsidies, Pakistan as a major agriculture producer may be in danger of missing out on a golden opportunity if the increase in international commodity prices represents a secular trend. However, with inflation close to double digit levels, the passing through of higher international prices to consumers has serious consequences for the urban poor. The panel discussion will focus on these issues, particularly from the perspective of what is to be done rather than on the mistakes of the past.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4/21/2008 04:00:00 PM,

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