ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Professor Ahsan Iqbal has said that there is a need to invest in human resource development and more scholarships should be provided to the public sector institutions in the field of energy, economy and mining for enhancing their capacity.

While meeting with delegation of Australia’s Aid Program, the minister said, “We look forward to learn from the experience of Australia, particularly in the field of higher education, public sector reforms and livestock. Through mutual cooperation, Australia can make a tangible contribution in the field of human resource development”.

He appreciated the delegation for providing support in different fields including health, education, rural development and governance. He further informed the delegation about ongoing programs and projects of government. While discussing about the vision 2025, Federal Minister said,” People should be at the heart of the development strategy and we believe that development should be of people, for the people and by the people. Keeping it in mind, we based Vision 2025 on the following seven pillars; energy security, sustained and inclusive higher growth, private sector leading the growth, modernization of infrastructure, improving competitiveness in industry and trade, resource mobilization, and lastly institutional and governance related reforms. We are working in partnership with the provinces as they hold the key to social sectors after the devolution”. Ms Bridie Rushton, Director Australia’s Aid Program, commended the plans and programs of the government and showed interest in further enhancing the cooperation for implementing the plans while Greg Ellis, head of Australia’s Aid Program in Pakistan assured that the ideas and suggestions provided by the minister may be incorporated in the revised Australia’s Aid Program that is to be launched in 2016.

He also showed keen interest in enhancing further coordination between the two offices.

Meanwhile, federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Professor Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan would follow export-led industrial growth to attract international markets.

In a meeting with the Senior Advisor of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Professor S. Hirashima, he said there existed immense potential for enhancing exports through export-led growth strategy.  He said that for the first time in the country, an extensive research is being conducted for cluster mapping of agricultural and industrial potential areas in order to boost export through value addition.  Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan Institute of Developmental Economics (PIDE) was being developed to turn it into a leading think tank for the country.

He said that the focus of the government is to identify the opportunities available in the country to produce goods of international standard.   “Our way forward is to learn from the experiences of Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Turkey, but develop a Pakistani Model of development”, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor S. Hirachima, said that once large companies develop the trend to export their products to international market, it creates room for small and medium industry to focus on domestic needs, giving them opportunity to grow side by side.