Pakistan in the 21st Century: Vision 2030
By Shaukat Hameed Khan, Project Director, Vision 2030, Fellow, Pakistani Academy of Sciences
A Vision is like a dream, but one which is experienced with both eyes open and with one’s feet on the ground. The Medium Term Development Framework 2005-10 launched by the Government in July 2005 presented the Vision of a “developed, industrialized, just and prosperous Pakistan through rapid and sustainable development, in a resource constrained economy by deploying knowledge inputs”. Vision 2030 extends that dream further and higher in terms of space and time.
The Vision 2030 for Pakistan has been prepared after a consultative process spread over two years. It presents a strategic framework for overcoming obstacles and challenges standing in the way of the preferred future chosen by the people of Pakistan.
We aim to achieve the stated Vision within a generation, in a manner that sustains a high quality of life and provides equal opportunities to its citizens to reach their true potential. We plan to meet contemporary and future challenges by deploying knowledge inputs and developing human capital. This, we believe, is the substance of the Vision in our mind.
The Vision document necessarily combines idealism with a sense of the possible. Its goals reflect the aspirations and potential of our people in the context of a fast-changing world. The Vision 2030 exercise considers a range of futures with concomitant strategic alignments. Yet the underlying theme is to embrace needed transformation, and to create new opportunities based on our innate strengths. This is the basic theme of Vision 2030.
Growing economically at a rate of around 7-8 percent per annum, Pakistan expects to join the ranks of middle-income countries, with a GDP of around USD 4,000 by 2030. This high growth rate would be sustained through developing its human resources, and by developing the necessary physical and technological infrastructure.
The growth trajectory will gain momentum by the latent capacities of a sizeable middle class emerging in the development process. Besides sustaining high growth rates, benefits of growth are planned to be equitably distributed, and poverty to be largely eliminated.
The citizen shall have greater access to quality education, as well as basic amenities like health, water and sanitation. Freedom of enterprise and enlarged opportunities will transform the lives of the majority but the benefit of social protection will provide sufficient cushion to the most vulnerable.
Vision 2030 acknowledges the forces of globalisation and dispersion of information and technology, which are likely to dramatically change the scale and character of human enterprise. By 2030, human lives, workplaces, education, skills, trade and competition would stand transformed. We are determined to manage these global forces of change to our advantage.
We intend to make a mark in the various fields of knowledge which can add value to our endeavours. What is posited is a quest for excellence, so that Pakistan can redefine and transform its institutions and structures as well as national policies, priorities and goals. We need to convert knowledge into a socio-economic enterprise. It should transform the market place, the quality of its processes and products and the productivity of our human resource.
The acquisition and dissemination of knowledge and the quest for excellence will be the driving force of our future destiny. Our vision is demanding and simple at the same time; we aim to transform ourselves into a state, society and economy dedicated to the assimilation and generation of knowledge, the harnessing of technology, and the practice of compassion. In making this transformation, we will continue to nurture the roots of our culture and remain uniquely Pakistani.
1.1 The Consensus
There is a remarkable consensus among the stakeholders about the future of Pakistan. This country is poised to assert its innate significance in one of the world’s most strategic areas. With the right choices and intelligent calibration of its strengths, Pakistan can attain its historical promise. There is confidence in the air and a determination to build on our successes which are not few but many in diverse fields. We are a nation determined to stand alongside the best of the world with confidence and faith in our destiny.
There is national consensus on the following fundamentals:
i. To build a nation whose development is measured by economic growth as well the quality
of life enjoyed by its people;
ii. To evolve into a tolerant and productive society, which is at peace with itself and with the rest
of the world, within a framework of sovereignty and security;
iii. To establish the rule of law as a bedrock principle impacting on all walks of life;
iv. To encourage freedom of enterprise and innovation in the market place together with state
responsibility for the provision of basic services to all citizens, including education,
healthcare, water and sanitation, shelter, and security under law;
v. To make employment and employability, a central theme in economic and social policies,
with special emphasis on the rights of women;
vi. To eliminate absolute poverty and ensure social protection for the weak and the vulnerable;
vii. To generate and absorb knowledge and harness technology for the good of all while
promoting social sciences and humanities as an essential branch of knowledge;
viii. To sustain an average growth of 7-8 percent in the long term through effective investment and
saving strategies while maintaining macro-economic stability;
ix. To take advantage of globalisation through enhanced competitiveness in a global economy
relating to commerce, manufacturing and services, with increased diversity and quality of
x. To facilitate the emergence of “Brand Pakistan”, which will result in several large
conglomerates becoming global players, and many more regional hubs and centres
established in Pakistan;
xi. To re-design the structures of state and instruments of government in terms of participation,
delivery of services, and good governance;
xii. To maximize dividends from the demographic transition in the coming years, while avoiding
xiii. To manage the anticipated growing competition for access and ownership of resources
and energy both regionally and globally;
xiv. To prepare for climate change, and its likely unfavourable implications
xv. To minimize wastage of natural resources as an important tool for preserving inter-
xvi. To prepare for the dynamics and imperatives of growth of large cities, urban concentrations
and expected internal and international migration;
xvii. To achieve significant breakthroughs in the sectors of education, employment and energy
while consolidating and expanding the gathering momentum in infrastructure and service
All these objectives will be achieved through consensus of all stakeholders in a graduated but timely fashion.
2. The Challenge
Pakistan will continue to face many challenges, which will all have to be managed and turned into opportunities for the welfare of the people. Some of the important challenges are:
i. Population: Pakistan is projected to become the fifth largest country by 2030, with
a population ranging between 230 and 260 million people, some 60 percent of whom will
live in urban areas.
We expect dividends of our declining birth rate in the form of attainment of universal primary
education by 2015, and universal secondary education by 2020-25. The second dividend
will be higher productivity and a faster economic growth because of higher educational
attainments throughout the population.
ii. Employment: The current techno-economic-knowledge revolution places a
premium on education and skills. Employment generation, and matching of skills with
demand in a changing workplace will therefore be central to poverty reduction, economic
growth and social stability.
iii. Resources: Natural resources will be severely depleted and stressed, especially
water, land and forests. Assuming that current water consumption patterns continue
unabated, projections show that at least 3.5 billion people — or 48 per cent of the world’s
projected population — will live in water-stressed river basins in 2030, including Pakistan.
The situation will be accentuated by the looming climate change; its impact and capacity to
de-stabilise the geographical spread and location of human habitats is only just beginning
to be understood.
- Integrated water resource management, which aims at ensuring the most optimal use of
water, is a major strategy for overcoming the looming water scarcity.
- Pakistan has not managed its water resources with care and is now becoming
increasingly water-stressed (less than 1000 cubic metres per capita). The country’s
current storage capacity at 9 per cent of average annual flows, is very low compared with
the world average of 40 percent. Further, on average, 35 MAF of water flows into the sea
annually during the flood season. In addition, extensive damages result due to flooding.
Without additional storage, the shortfall will increase by 12 per cent over the next decade.
Increasing storage capacity is thus an important part of the strategy.
- It is planned to increase storage capacity by 18 MAF (6 MAF for replacement of storage
lost to silting / sedimentation and 12 MAF of new storage) in order to meet the projected
requirements of 134 MAF.
The large storage facilities will be complemented by a comprehensive programme of
small dams, and other measures for recharging underground reservoirs.
- While the agriculture sector will remain the predominant user of water, the requirements
for industry, municipal and human use will continue to increase. It would be necessary to
enhance efficiency for all uses of water, including re-cycling and re-use.
- There is a dire need for aggressively pursuing all resource conservation technologies for
sustainable agriculture. Our existing irrigation methodologies, based on gravity flow, are
extravagant and unsustainable.
- There are nearly 14 million acres of salt affected wasteland with brackish underground
water as well as large areas of sandy desert. Pakistani scientists have pioneered bio-
saline agriculture technology whereby such lands can be economically utilized through a
National Bio-saline Agriculture Program. Drought-tolerant and water-use efficient crop
varieties through biotechnology will augment conservation of water resources.
Salt tolerant, fast growing grasses, shrubs and trees are planned to be grown with
brackish water, and used as a feedstock for economic conversion to methane or ethanol
iv. Food and Agriculture: Our vision is an efficient, competitive, and sustainable agriculture which will ensure food security, rural livelihood, and will contribute to the economic development of Pakistan.
Few people would have accepted that Pakistan would be able to feed its growing population, which increased from around 34 million in 1947 to 156 million in 2006. Not only has this been achieved, in addition rice h as been exported nearly every year, and even wheat occasionally. It was able to achieve food self-sufficiency, triple its agricultural exports, reduce poverty, increase income levels, and improve the quality of life for its people.
· The Green Revolution has essentially run its course and its achievable potential has been largely realized.
When we couple this with the looming water shortages, we believe that it will be difficult for Pakistan to support an estimated population of 230 - 260 million in 2030, with current technology and current best practices alone.
· Biotechnology will play the critical role in meeting agricultural targets during this century, leading to higher production, better resistance, and lower costs of production.
· Small farms are continuously increasing in number because of land division due to inheritance. This is impacting agricultural productivity, as small farmers are generally resource-poor and need greater attention.
We may need to re-visit the debate over land reforms in keeping with the demands of the 21st century.
v. Energy: The world will demand even more energy, on the wave of rapidly growing demand from Asia; it will be in short supply, and may not be affordable. Pakistan too will require enormous amounts of energy to meet its developmental challenges, and to attain and sustain its vision for economic growth. We must therefore change the way we draw up our strategies for acquisition, generation and conservation of energy:
· Diversification of the energy mix, by expanding the share of coal, nuclear and renewable energy from its current combined share of 20 per cent to 36 per cent by 2030;
· Increase in capacity of strategic reserves from the current 29 days of demand to bring it closer to the 60-day supply of USA by 2015, and Europe's 90 days by 2030. This is also a hedge against price volatility/market panics;
· Improved and expanded oil and gas distribution networks, both within the country and internationally;
· Increased energy cooperation, whereby buyers and sellers expand investments in each other's energy infrastructure. Pakistan will actively pursue exploration in oil and gas fields abroad as well as investing in infrastructure (ports and shipping) for handling enhanced use of LNG;
· Extensive use of coal-fired plants based on indigenous and imported coal, coupled with carbon capture and sequestration to reduce emissions;
· Meet fully the oil and gas exploration targets set in the Energy Security Plan, which is the most effective path for enhancing energy self-reliance in Pakistan;
· Make buildings more energy efficient, specially for reduction of air-conditioning loads in summer. Solar heating will be promoted for winter;
· Put in place mass transit systems in major cities to meet the mobility needs of the public, and to reduce pollution;
· Accelerate the current programmes in alternate energy (especially wind), which have the potential to provide more than 5 per cent of the electricity supply needed in 2030, as incorporated in the Energy Security Plan;
· Build up the local power engineering industry for power plant equipment, steam turbines, and generators;
· Initiate research in emerging thrust areas such as fusion, fuel cells, and hydrogen for energy generation and storage.
These measures need to be complemented by broadening the database through regular census and surveys in order to fine tune energy planning.
vi. Rural and Urban Dimensions: Pakistan will become predominantly urban by 2030. An additional urban population of the size of Punjab’s total current population (about 80 million) will have to be accommodated. Further, mega-cities of the world will compete with nation states, on the basis of congruence of cluster strengths and a whole new set of economic dynamics. This will demand a holistic approach within Pakistan also to address the issues of increasing rural non-farming employment skills, rural-urban complementarities, and linkages to develop balanced hierarchies of settlements. This is expected to increase productivity in every sphere.
vii. Sustainability: The battle for biodiversity may have been irretrievably lost already in mankind’s quest for high economic growth. We will be faced with the challenge of managing a growing deficit of inter-generational equity and conservation of our environment.
viii. The Race for Talent: Men and women of talent and skills will be valued and sought after by all nations, driven by changes in the nature of work and the workplace, demands for greater productivity and innovation, and to make up for aging populations.
To meet this challenge, education sector strategies will include the following:
· Enhance the scale and quality of education in general and of scientific / technical education in Pakistan in particular.
· Increase public expenditure on education and skills generation from the present 2.7 per cent of GDP to 5 per cent by 2010 and at least 7 percent by 2015.
· Generate an environment which encourages the thinking mind to emerge from our schools. Among other things, this would require qualified, and well-paid teachers, whether at the level of the school, the college or the university.
· Establish one curriculum, and one standardised national examination system under state responsibility.
· Make employment and employability the central theme in economic and social policies. This will require major investment in skill generation after 10 years of schooling, and social reforms to draw in women, since labour markets are always socially embedded.
3. A Just and Sustainable Society
Achieving the true potential of each and every citizen is the cornerstone of Vision 2030. The basic thread in the discourse of Vision 2030 remains the creation of a just society, without which Pakistan will not flourish and prosper. Pakistan will continue to be a multiethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious society.
3.1 The Social Context
It will be imperative to achieve synthesis among the streams of religion, cultural roots, and scientific methodology. We are confident that within Pakistan, as elsewhere in the world, identities based on religion, language and culture will have emerged into a state of maturity by 2030. The challenge will be to strengthen social and political institutions, to ensure that any imbalances and social tensions do not hold the country back.
Attaining gender parity and universal female literacy remains a challenge due to large regional variations and low female enrolment and retention in rural areas. There have been some impressive gains in empowerment of women in recent years, with reserved representation in federal, provincial and local elected bodies.
However, there are a number of daunting challenges hindering moves towards gender equality. The gender gap is most serious in terms of opportunities for education, health, and employment in rural areas. A school in every settlement, and vocational and technical education especially in the good practices of agriculture and livestock, would be key instruments for reducing poverty among rural working women, who outnumber their male counterparts in these sectors.
The conversion to a gender balanced and empowered society is a slow process, requiring careful but persistent sensitization of society. This process will be encouraged within a wider environment of continued government interventions and social activism.
3.2 The Political Context
Pakistan will need to adapt its institutions of state and instruments of government to become more responsive to the needs of the 21st century. Even greater attention will be required in building the capacity of civil servants, specially those at the provincial and local levels where the delivery of services actually takes place. The political framework will be required to enhance democratic processes so that participation and ownership of all citizens in decision making can be improved.
We expect to see the following in 2030:
· The spread of education and sensitisation to citizens’ rights in Pakistan will have led to the resolution of many issues which agitate the Pakistani public at present.
· The performance of government will be judged by the security of life and property it provides, and the quality and speed of justice offered, and not simply by economic growth rates.
· The provision of public goods, such as security of life and property and the provision of justice under a strengthened social contract, will dominate the functions of state, since it cannot be an effective helmsman of economic development, unless it can provide social contract goods effectively.
· Political susceptibility and ‘clientilism’ will have been mostly eliminated. The civil servant of the future in Pakistan will have learnt to work within the environment of greater political participation, devolution and social mobilisation.
· Most government functions will have devolved to provincial and local governments.
The excellence of Pakistani institutions in 2030 will be reflected in the state’s capacity to unilaterally reach its governance targets for internal and external efficiencies, which must include:
· Consolidation of a democratic culture in society;
· Fair and efficient access to, and sharing of, infrastructure and wealth through pro-poor policies and training;
· Protection of the rights of the citizen against arbitrary decision making;
· Access to justice whereby redress is available and dispensable to all, with offences regarded as offences against society and not merely persons;
· Development of legal and regulatory frameworks to minimise risks inherent in public-private partnerships.
3.3 Critical Benchmarks of a Modern State
Vision 2030 postulates that Pakistan needs to cross some critical benchmarks to manage the modern state of the 21st century. These will include:
i. Justice and Law: The first is an independent judiciary, made up of good men and women, who are just - but not too good as to be unjust. Moreover, laws exist for every known contingency, it is their enforcement, first as decision in the court and then their implementation, which is crucial.
ii. Government Efficiency: A second important, and separate, dimension is related to the efficiency of government and the quality of the bureaucracy. We must ensure a professional civil service, which facilitates and implements policies, and is free of clientilism – be it political, donor-related, or even cadre-centred.
· The professionalism of the civil servant is critical to the reform process, whether through greater induction of technocrats or their lifelong capacity building and learning. Close interaction with technology and understanding of its social and economic accelerators will be necessary. This is specially applicable to the service cadres at the provinces and local government level, where the actual delivery of services takes place.
· Extensive administrative reforms are needed in Pakistan to attract and retain competent officers, and to establish better interaction across the tiers of government and its various organs.
· Improved service structures and security, and opportunities for professional growth, as well as greater political insulation will need to be ensured.
iii. Participation: Third, the democracy deficit needs to be overcome. This is essential to restore trust between the state and the people, who need to know and see that the state actually cares for them.
iv. The Non-State Actor: The influence of the “non-state” actor can be significant, specially the international institutions, which are much more intrusive into national societies than traditional ones. Their policy prescriptions tend to make national borders irrelevant. This can seriously affect the ability of a state to meet its governance targets, since effective governance depends upon the availability of a minimum spatial congruence of political regulations with socially integrated geographical areas and the absence of significant externalities. They also have severe representational deficits, and increasingly contain features which undermine the consensus principle of international cooperation.
Pakistan will witness an increasing emphasis on public–private partnerships to increase the resource envelope, and to increase efficiency and delivery of services. The relationship between the public and private sectors will have matured, and its dynamics much better understood in 2030. It is imperative to develop the legal and regulatory framework to minimise risks and facilitate this partnership.
v. Globally Integrated Economy: By 2030 economies are likely to diffuse across national boundaries into truly global supply chains, whether in industry, services or ownership. This dispersal of work and strategic linkages across national boundaries, coupled with information integration, and a shift in the technological content of world trade towards high technology, will be the most conspicuous features of the globalised economy of the future. There will be a continuation of relocation of manufacturing and an increasing share of design and services from the developed countries. Attracting and retaining relocation activities and investments, and developing into regional or global hubs, will be major challenge for Pakistan.
vi. Changing Nature of Work and Workplace:
Pakistan will need to address the challenges of a changing workplace, changing demand for skills, and a flexible gender inclusive workforce. A new economic landscape is being created globally that highlights a shift from geographical industrial clusters to virtual clusters, driven by digital innovation. These clusters are emerging in the new competitive space offered by a web-based business world, where “how you do business” can be more relevant than “where you do business”. For Pakistan, it translates into a challenge to operate the next generation of communication networks, which combine convergence with speed, stability, security, and flexibility.
vii. The Asian Region: The most abrupt transformation is occurring in Asia which is expected to be the engine of global growth and consumption in the foreseeable future. If some emerging economies in Asia can sustain their growth for several decades, then three of the four largest global economies will probably be Asian in 2030. Pakistan’s competitors will be other Asian countries.
4. The Macroeconomic Framework
Pakistan’s macroeconomic framework in 2030 will be linked to the level of globalisation prevalent at the time. Whether globalisation is intense or benign, Pakistan may have little ground for manoeuvre, and the state would still be busy in maintaining the balance at the fiscal, monetary, and external levels.
In both cases, low inflation would be an important goal, tariffs would also be low or within those set by the international environment, and the number of taxes would be few.
We expect Pakistan to have eliminated extreme poverty in all its manifestations much before 2030. The state would build upon this to increase the employability and quality of life of all its citizens.
High GDP growth rates exceeding 7–8 percent are envisaged in view of recent performance; however, the low levels of savings and investments, broad-basing of growth, its sustainability over time, and the trickle down of growth benefits to the poor, would remain major challenges.
We expect the share of manufacturing to rise from the current 18 percent in 2005-06 to nearly 30 percent by 2030.
Within manufacturing, there is also a need for diversification from textiles to machinery, electronics, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, to match the global trade composition. Fortunately, all these sectors are showing strong growth.
The services sector plays a vital role in sustaining the growth of Pakistan’s economy, with a share of about 60 percent in GDP, and 44 percent in employed labour force. A cross-country comparison shows that share of services sector in GDP is currently about 75 percent in most developed countries.
Boundaries between services and industry are changing fast, and about half of all services in modern industrialized economies are sold and bought while being embedded in the form of goods. While the content and function of goods remain important, the designing, marketing, consultancy and advertising services claim a share of the value added to goods. Manufacturing, too, has important contributions from services, such as resource planning, warehousing, value chain analysis, financial services and inputs, after sales services, and the logistics of transport and communication.
All these elements are a core focus of Vision 2030.
The government will provide the necessary infrastructure, human resource development including skill development and the development of scientific and technological infrastructure. The government will also use fiscal incentives including tax holidays, depreciation allowance, tax credits, subsidy for R&D, freight subsidy etc. to promote the export-oriented and hi-tech industries.
An important instrument to achieve Vision 2030 would be to enhance the trade/GDP ratio from the current 30 percent to about 60 percent by 2030, or around USD 600 billion by 2030. The services sector accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the GDP but contributes very little to the revenue generation (telecommunications and electricity being the exceptions).
The major interventions required are strengthening of the infrastructure, and assurance of quality standards and accreditation. Quality improvement and diversification would require active partnership between the private and public sectors with a focus on increasing export competitiveness.
In a world of aggressive competition in the global market, generating growth exclusively from factors accumulation makes a country uncompetitive. Empirical estimates suggest that 20 to 50 per cent of GDP growth has emanated from productivity gains in various countries. In Pakistan, TFP has contributed one-third to its growth in recent years, but it reflected an extreme form of inefficiencies in the base year, rather than improvement in productivity.
Rising levels of investment without an increase in savings result in external debt; savings rate in Pakistan is around 15 percent of GDP (with investment levels of 20 percent) which is quite low in the perspective of 6-8 percent growth rate envisaged in Vision 2030.
The country is entering into a capital intensive investment regime in order to diversify towards hi-tech industries, to meet the energy and infrastructure requirements, and to provide for the human resource development. The minimum level of requisite investment would range between 27 to 30 percent if the growth rates of GDP envisaged in the vision 2030 are to be realized.
Accordingly, a major effort is to be made to increase the savings rate from the current 15-16 per cent of GDP to 25 percent at least.
5. Building Competitive Advantage
Pakistan must quickly put in place the infrastructure and instruments for matching of transnational skills, to deal with the emergence of the 24 hour / 7 day working society, and to cater for relocation of manufacturing and design high income developed economies. Apart from the excellence of public institutions and quality of macroeconomic policies, the driving force will remain flexible, skilled and innovative technical personnel; and fast and efficient physical and electronic connectivity.
We need to bridge the increasing digital divide between Pakistan and the global leaders. We will need to establish an excellent, low cost, physical and electronic connectivity (part of the required technological infrastructure) with the rest of the world, specially with those countries from where industrial and business relocation is possible.
Establishing a world class and innovative telecommunication infrastructure is therefore an important pre-requisite to enable both manufacturing and services sectors to expand rapidly.
The reduction of the digital divide offers enormous opportunities for the emergence of major Pakistani business and industrial conglomerates.
Services and industry constitute nearly three quarters of our national income, and the future economic growth of Pakistan will take place in its urban areas, particularly the mega-cities and other large urban centres. Our future urban centres will be planned within the framework of strategic master plans, incorporating economic parameters for efficiency gains to make our cities competitive in the global and regional context. The development of urban infrastructure will ensure that the location of business and commerce is fully facilitated.
There is a need to carefully enforce and strengthen the legal and regulatory infrastructure for IPRs, speedy access to justice, and resolution of commercial disputes. The local spirit for innovation will be enhanced through better enactment and enforcement of the laws, accompanied by world class quality and standards.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be the prime vehicle of employment generation and poverty alleviation. Government interventions will be focussed at lifting them out of the low skills, low expectations trap. Business trust will be enhanced through better contract enforcement, as part of the overall enabling environment.
With these enablers in place, industrial and commercial competitiveness will increase, and productivity will improve through information-intensive, value-added processes. Well before 2030, several local enterprises will reach the technological trajectory where they become generators of knowledge and skills.
The cost of doing business is determined by a large number of factors, with availability and cost of infrastructure as the major factor. Pakistan has recently introduced several measures to reduce costs of doing business faced by investors (local and foreign), and was ranked at 74 out of 175 countries in 2007; the ranking of the BRICs countries was 121 for Brazil, 96 for Russia, 134 for India and 93 for China. The most critical issue remains adjudication and settlement of disputes, where Pakistan ranked 162 globally.
The new arc of activity from Gwadar to upcountry and beyond into China and Central Asia (the Energy, Trade, Transport, Industry corridor) will be a major catalyst on completion, as it will make use of Pakistan’s prime location on energy and trade routes, to meet its own need as well as those of its neighbours.
Urban centres will be planned within the framework of strategic master plans, incorporating economic parameters for efficiency gains, to make our cities competitive in the global and regional context.
5.1 The Physical and Technological Infrastructure
The infrastructure will be strengthened to ensure that bottlenecks do not impede the envisaged growth and competitiveness:
· Excellent Physical Infrastructure. A comprehensive programme has been launched under the National Trade Corridor Initiative to overhaul the entire logistics chain, physical connectivity and processes (motorways, expressways, railways, ports and shipping and airports) and efficiency to bring them at par with international standards. The time spent at our ports to clear imports has already been slashed by more than half, and will be reduced further.
· Major investment in standards, measurements, testing, and accreditation are being made to assure quality of processes and products.
· ICT: Pakistan will put in place a multi-platform, any-time any-place infrastructure, which can meet the challenges of technology convergence in order to cater to needs of the present and future. The quality of service for the ‘last mile’ is of particular focus. Development of the infrastructure and secure environment for e-Commerce will receive high priority.
· Special economic and industrial zones and clusters will be encouraged to reduce the cost of production.
With an excellent infrastructure in place, Vision 2030 expects for a quantum increase in manufacturing and services to fuel long term growth.
6. Building the Innovative Society
A society without innovation and based only the upon use of technical skills, for production and services, will not flourish for long. After the initial economic growth, the envelope of prosperity and quality of life can only be increased through research, which will help to promote both planned and unplanned pathways for development. It is the unplanned application of fundamental research which generally has greater impact in the long run.
Innovation, however, does not mean research only. The basic building blocks of an innovative society must be put in place before any other expectations can be made. The first essential requirement is universal enrolment and completion of education for a minimum of ten years. The second requirement is for an environment which nurtures independence of thought – the creation of a thinking mind among the children. Here the choice of medium of instruction is extremely important. This is the essence of the knowledge worker, and this is the prime focus of Vision 2030. If we can succeed in creating the thinking mind, we will have the instrument for change.
The third requirement is the creation of a set of skills and aptitudes which will enable employability and productivity, at the same time as the ethics of a social environment are inculcated in the young mind.
Finally, the ‘long pole’ in the tent of an enlightened society is the teacher. Teacher shortages are exacerbated by low salaries, low status, and low expectations, coupled with indifferent attitudes and pedagogical skills. This issue deserves the highest attention, since the teacher is the mediator between what is intended to be taught and what actually gets delivered, and determines the kind of young men and women coming out of our institutions. The teacher will be at the centre of educational reforms in Vision 2030.
Recent investments in education, research and infrastructure have improved the
environment in Pakistan recently, but not enough is being done at the school and college level. It is still hampered by lack of critical mass and insufficient skills in design, and instrumentation. The issue of critical numbers is being addressed through greatly enhanced funding for faculty development and research funding,, and a focus on quality.
There will be focus on the five technologies driving the techno-socio-economic revolution of the 21st century: energy, materials, biology, nanotechnology, and computational power. Space is in a category of its own in its ability to fire the imagination all human beings, and will be actively pursued.
Pakistani scientists and engineers can play an important part in building up a broad research base in energy and its new technologies. This offers employment and industrial opportunities as well, because the energy crunch is already here.
7. The State and Security
The sovereignty and security of Pakistan will need to be addressed at two levels – internal and external. As Pakistan moves towards greater prosperity, preserving its physical space and even expanding its virtual counterpart will become extremely important. The emergence of new global players in the 21st century is a certainty, and a whole new set of strategic alliances are being quietly forged in Asia, on the premise that these new players will have an impact as large as the imperial powers of the previous two centuries.
Fortunately for Pakistan, size will still matter, whether demographic, economic, or military, to help preserve the national space.
There is potential for Pakistan to be a bigger player in matters of global security instead of being a target. However, Pakistan is placed geographically and politically in a region of great tension, at the same time as its economic growth and expectations are rising.
Domestically, Pakistan needs to ensure not only food and energy security, but also an equitable distribution of all forms of wealth and the opportunities to access and generate them, and removal of the democracy deficit. Such an internal concord would be the best protection from external forces and events.
Pakistan will continue to work towards peace in the region, so that its economic space can be cultivated intensely, and the fruits of development can be shared by all its citizens. Promotion of peace and dialogue is therefore a critical element of its foreign policy.
It is reasonable to expect that the Pakistani state in 2030 will have evolved as part of the international order of modern progressive states, where international issues will be resolved through dialogue and negotiations rather than coercion being applied under delusions of empire or quest for hegemony or resources. With peace in the region, Pakistan can get on with the business of building a prosperous state.
8. Some Concluding Reflections
In 2030, Pakistanis will be better educated, better fed, and better served by the state in which their participation will be far greater than in the past, because of much improved instruments of state and government. Worry will remain about the nature of the state in terms of size and intrusiveness, on the shoulders of the unfolding information and scientific / technical revolution. Science and society will continue to co-evolve in this century, with science continuing to provide more singularities and disruptions through unplanned pathways, as it has done throughout human history, specially the last 100 years.
The Vision 2030 document emphasises the four levels at which the Vision process has been placed. These are the nature of the state, the economy, the society, and the global imperatives in which the process will be embedded. It also discusses issues related to energy, knowledge, science and technology, and changing demographics from the viewpoint of global demands for competition, productivity, and diversification. All these are placed within the boundaries of sustainability of the environment and the human habitat, and intergenerational equity.
No matter what the background, everyone agrees that Pakistan must change. It must change to manage the reality of global competition. It must also learn to manage the shift in the centre of economic and political gravity to Asia.
The most interesting impact of the Vision process is the ‘re-discovery’ of Pakistan’s young people – vibrant and confident, possessing higher expectations and skills than their forebears, and no longer willing to settle for second best.
They had somehow been forgotten in our lost decades, but in 2030 they will be the ones who will have wrought the changes which we all wish for. They will also be more demanding of quality of government and assured equality under law, a sustainable habitat and environment, and better delivery of services. They are already more pluralistic and inclusive than the older generation, and have the confidence to take what they like or want in cultural terms; they also carry lesser historical baggage. They are the instrument for achieving our Vision for a productive, progressive, just and stimulating Pakistani society in 2030.
 World Bank; Doing Business 2007.