ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that political instability, flawed and inconsistent policies, extremely low investment in infrastructure and disjointed governance cost the country dearly in the past.

“We will not let mistakes of the past to be repeated in future. Pakistan Vision-2025 has put the country on the path to progress and transformation into a modern economy,” Ahsan said at ‘Building for Tomorrow’ event, organised by General Electric (GE).

The minister pointed out that success stories around the world explicitly highlighted the importance of political stability and consistency in policies.

He opined Pakistan needed to have the same political stability in Pakistan so that economic growth could be sustained after the present government’s policies put the economy back on track.

“Things are going well in terms of economic indicators, law and order situation and in other spheres of national life,” he said, and added, “Pakistan is a changed country from what it used to be in 2013 with a precarious security situation and deteriorating economic conditions.”

The minister said the country missed many opportunities in the past to develop economically. “But no more repeat of the past,” he said emphatically, and added, “We have received a historic opportunity in the form of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has improved the country’s investment profile significantly by attracting the attention of the foreign investors.”

Ahsan further said that CPEC would also turn the country into energy, trade and commerce hub in the region, and would help realise the goals of Vision-2025 aimed at improving the regional connectivity by building a modern infrastructure in the country. “Work on CPEC projects is in full swing these days,” he said.

He called for a collaborative approach to realise the dream of taking Pakistan into top 25 economies of the world by 2025.

He also touched upon the issue of transparency in governance, and said that GE representative had admitted that the transaction GE did in Pakistan’s energy sector was most transparent, compared to any other part of the world.

Speaking about outdated and irrelevant economic policies, based on import substitution paradigm, which were adopted during the non-democratic regimes, Ahsan recalled that export growth strategy was missing in the policies, resulting in nominal export growth over the years.

The minister further said that disjointed governance also resulted in sluggish economic growth in the past. “Governance in collaboration would be the hallmark of Vision-2025,” he vowed. Ahsan said that in today’s age of economic ideologies, countries needed to invest in productivity, quality and innovation to become competitive in the global market.

Stressing the need for working harder and smarter to meet the needs of productivity, quality and innovation, he noted that speed was now the essence of development and growth. “We need to change ourselves to meet the fast changing requirements of the new age,” he said, and noted, “We need to equip ourselves with the skills so that we could turn challenges into opportunities and achieve growth and prosperity in the coming years.”