Friday, February 1, 2008

CSF to conduct the annual review on Competitiveness of Pakistan’s economy

Islamabad, February 1, 2008 - The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), a joint initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, is starting its work on the second State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report for 2008. CSF, as the partner institution of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Pakistan is working closely with the Global Competitiveness Network of the WEF on this report.

The State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008 will track Pakistan’s performance, spotlighting the areas of progress and areas of further focus. In addition to explaining the results of the Global Competitiveness Report of 2007-2008 of the World Economic Forum and benchmarking Pakistan’s progress against its peers, the report will evaluate Pakistan’s progress in raising its competitiveness in 2008-09. Each of the areas of recommendation will be assessed based on tangible, measurable results. This will be completed both at the national as well as regional level. The 2008 Report will spotlight a thematic area that may require focused attention from Pakistan’s economic leadership. Pakistan is ranked 92 among the 131 countries on the global competitiveness rankings.

CSF will start its interaction with the stakeholders in the first week of February 2008, including all relevant ministries, leading public and private sector institutions, business councils and trade bodies along with academia and the media. CSF will be identifying the areas to improve Pakistan’s competitiveness through a consultative initiative with the key stakeholders.

The report is an important policy tool for the government’s economic growth agenda and for private sector investment in Pakistan. The report will also include the action plan and timetable to improve key industries that will boost economic growth. This year the State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report will assess the global competitiveness index of Pakistan’s economy on the following pillars i.e. 1) Institutions, 2) Infrastructure, 3) Macroeconomic stability, 4) Health and primary education, 5) Higher education and training, 6) Goods market efficiency, 7) Labor market efficiency, 8) Financial market sophistication, 9) Technological readiness, 10) market size, 11) Business sophistication and 12) Innovation.

The first State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report was launched by former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in March last year. CSF prepared the State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report for 2007 which reported that overall Pakistan had improved its competitiveness position in the rankings of the World Economic Forum.

The State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008 will take an in-depth look at Pakistan’s ranking on the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report will provide a snapshot of the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistan’s economy, key positive and negative trends in the economy, regional development in each of the four provinces along with economic potential in the FATA and FANA region.

This year, the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) will include a chapter on gender in the State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008, which will identify the gender gaps affecting competiveness in Pakistan, especially the areas identified by the World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2007.

The State of Pakistan’s Competitiveness Report 2008 will provide a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities. It will also provide explanations for policy-makers and business leaders in seeking solutions for talent shortages and how to close gender gaps and leverage the talents of both women and men.

Launched in May 2006, CSF supports Pakistan’s goal of a more competitive economy by providing input into policy decisions, working to improve regulatory and administrative frameworks and enhancing public-private partnerships within the country to reposition its economy on a more competitive global footing. CSF also provides technical assistance and co-financing for initiatives related to entrepreneurship, business incubators and private-sector-led initiatives with research institutes and universities that contribute to creating a knowledge-driven economy.

Support for CSF is part of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. Government is providing to Pakistan over five years to improve economic growth, education, health, and governance.

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