ISLAMABAD – World Bank says Pakistan’s greatest asset is its young population of 208 million, which can be transformed into a demographic dividend that drives economic growth. In a new report launched in Islamabad today under the title of “Pakistan at Hundred: Shaping the Future,” the bank said Pakistan can boost its economic performance and thereby ensure a better future for its people when the country turns 100 years old in 2047.
Launching the report, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer said Pakistan urgently needs to invest more and better in its people if they are to be richer, better educated, and healthier.
It recommends essential reforms, which Pakistan needs to accelerate and sustain growth, including increasing and improving human capital investment, boosting productivity, promoting social and environmental sustainability, ensuring good governance, and leveraging its location to connect more with neighbours and the world beyond.
The Bank recommended that Pakistan must act fast and strategically manage population growth and improve maternal health besides improving early childhood development, focusing on nutrition and health and boost spending on education and skills for all.
The report also calls for reforms in other key areas, demanding steps to make it easier to do business in Pakistan as well as reforms to tax policy and administration to increase fiscal space and public investment in the country’s top priorities.
It says strong governance would be crucial to implementing a difficult set of reforms.