Thursday, August 21, 2008

From: Forum on Trade 20th August 2008

From: Forum on Trade

The EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) which usually has a handle on events overseas and is considered by many as an authoritative source on country risk assessment highlights the following priorities that need to be addressed by any Govt in Pakistan:-
1) Energy (read electricity shortage). The current MW demand outstrips supply.
2) Inflation (specially food and fuel).
3) Security (current threat assessment is high).
4) Unemployment (resource pool for extremist elements).
5) Competitiveness (high skills training and ensuring that the labor market is available for FDI in value added manufacturing and agro-processing).
6) Widening and deepening of the revenue base (agri income tax plus a ST that is based on conspicuous consumption and luxury imports).
These are just some of the immediate high ticket items to prevent the house from being engulfed in flames and of course there are many others such as education, health and social welfare issues. In my view KASB, ABN-AMRO, Merrill Lynch, EIU and certain fee based on line subscriptions have good quality assessments on the issues and prescriptive solutions. Simply looking at the KSE Index, S&P and Moody's ratings etc are like checking the thermometer for the signs of a fever and not knowing what is causing it and what is the cure for the underlying ailment.

Asad Hayauddin
Consul (Trade and Commerce)
Commercial Section
Consulate of Pakistan
333 North Michigan Ave. Suite 921
Chicago, IL 60601
Ph: 312-782-2383
Fax: 312-782-2384