Lahore School of Economics

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Re-igniting economic growth in Pakistan

As part of the Distinguished Economist Seminar Series, the Lahore School Economics Society (LSES) organized its first seminar on February 18, 2015. The guest speaker was a renowned Pakistani economist Dr. Rashid Amjad who talked about “Re-igniting economic growth in Pakistan”. The seminar was chaired by the patron LSES, Dr. Waqar Wadho and was attended by distinguished professors and economists including Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry (Rector, Lahore School of Economics), Dr. Azam Chaudhry (Dean, Department of Economics, Lahore School of Economics), Dr. Sohail Zafar, (Dean, Department of Business Administration), Dr. Naved Hamid (Director, Center for Research in Economics and Business) and Dr. Irfan-ul-Haque (Special Advisor for Financing for Development, South Centre, Geneva), Dr. Shakil Faruqi (Professor, Lahore School of Economics), faculty members of Lahore School and a large number of both graduate and undergraduate students of Lahore School.

Given his expertise on the management of Pakistan economy, Dr Rashid focused this seminar on the issue of economic growth in Pakistan. He started off the analysis by providing a very comprehensive overview of the performance of Pakistan economy in the past decades and highlighted the need to focus on the ‘binding constraints’ that hamper growth. He argued that foreign exchange has been a binding constraint for decades. In recent years, due to inadequate focus on energy, today, the most important constraint that the Pakistan economy faces is the energy shortage and therefore, the government should target this as its highest priority. He suggested that the falling oil prices present a window of opportunity which should be exploited to alleviate the existing constraints. In his concluding remarks, Dr. Rashid advised the young economics students to focus on the underlying theory and fundamentals of economic policy-making along with thinking out-of-the-box so that more creative yet pragmatic solutions to the existing economic problems can be suggested.

The seminar was followed by a discussion session with students where students posed their questions and opinions. Overall the seminar proved to be an engaging event whereby both the students and leading economists got an opportunity to interact and discuss the current economic issues of Pakistan. The LSES aims to continue with its seminar series and hopes to further invite economists both from within and outside Pakistan to enlighten young minds with their experience. The next seminar is scheduled on February 26, 2015 where the guest speaker is Dr. Deepak Nayyar (Professor Emeritus, JNU New Delhi and former Vice-Chancellor Delhi University).

About the speaker:

Dr Rashid Amjad is a Professor of Economics and Director at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS). Before joining the GIDS, Dr Rashid served as the Vice Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). He has also served at important positions in the government including Chief Economist (Additional Charge) / Member, Planning Commission of Pakistan. He has served at senior levels at International Labour Organisation (ILO) including the Director, Policy Planning, Employment Sector and Employment Strategy Department, Chief, World Employment Report Team, Director Multidisciplinary Support Team for South-East Asia and the Pacific (SEAPAT). Dr Rashid has numerous publications in both local and international journals as well as several books to his credit with his latest book titled “Pakistan - Moving the Economy Forward” published in 2013.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2/24/2015 12:41:00 PM,

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