Pakistan needs 159 years to catch up with industralized world


Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May—June 6, 2008

By Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: Pakistan needs 159 years to catch up with industrialised nations, says a report by the Commission on Growth and Development, an independent body based at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. The commission’s growth report, however, notes that Pakistan can reach this milestone by 2050 if it maintains an annual growth rate of 8.3 per cent and in 2100 if it maintains a growth rate of 4.9 per cent. Pakistan has maintained the maximum growth rate of 4.8 during the last 10 years with an average of 1.8 per year.Pakistan’s per capita GDP in 2006 was $2,206. The report notes that China, which in 2006 had per capita GDP of $6,621, can catch up with industrialised countries in 23 years. During the last 10 years, China has had an average growth rate of 8.3 per cent, with a maximum of 10.1 per cent. India, with per capita GDP of $3,308, can catch up with industrialised nations in 50 years. During the last 10 years, India had the maximum growth rate of 7.7 per cent, with an average of 4.9 per cent. Among the Muslim nations, Malaysia is the closest to catch up with industrialised nations. It can reach this milestone in 35 years, followed by Iran, which can reach there in 54 years. Egypt needs 118 years. The report notes that in 1960, some of the largest developing countries have put their economies on track to catch up with industrialised countries; many others have not. There are about 150 developing countries in the world. The 10 largest among them account for about 70 per cent of developing countries’ GDP, and the 25 largest countries for about 90 per cent. The growth performance of these 25 countries has been uneven. Because industrialised countries’ growth rate is about 2 per cent per capita, developing countries need to grow at much higher rates to catch up. Less than half have been able to reach this performance. Since 1960, only 6 countries have grown faster than 3 per cent in per capita terms and 10 had growth rates below 2 per cent, implying that they have fallen farther behind industrialised countries’ incomes.Pakistan’s real GDP in 2006 was 99 billion in constant 2,000 dollars. Pakistan’s share in total developing countries’ real GDP in 2006 was 1.2 per cent. Pakistan’s growth rate between 1980 and 2006 in real GDP was 5.1 per cent and in per capita it was 2.5 per cent. Between 1960 and 2006, the real GDP growth rate was 5.5 per cent and in per capita it was 2.7 per cent. The real GDP growth rate in 1960 was 9 per cent. In 1960, Pakistan ranked 20th among the developing nations.—Dawn

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