Curtis S. Chin puts difficult questions to Pakistan
Former US Ambassador to, and Board Member of, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Curtis S. Chin has written an interesting piece on Pakistan which follows up from his last visit to the country two years ago.
On his previous trip Curtis investigated development projects in Pakistan and he now reassesses the successes and failures of these, bearing in mind their extremely high costs to the country and its donor nations and partners. These questions are particularly pertinent now the Pakistani election year posturing is over.
Curtis looks at the most recent data, revealing that although the lives of the people are often improved, the overall success rate of these projects is not high. He highlights the example of the ADB who have spent $17 billion in loans to Pakistan since 1966, yet only 32% of their work in the 2000s was deemed “successful”. He states: “Clearly, it will be up to the people of Pakistan to shape their own future.”
There are four questions which Curtis now raises as important for the nation’s development partners ad leaders to consider:
- Is Pakistan’s government bureaucracy hindering or fostering economic growth?
- How are regulations impacting job creation?
- When is government intervention appropriate?
- What more can be done to root out corruption?
Curtis concludes his article noting that at the heart of these questions is his view that the “new ‘bric’ walls being built of bureaucracy, regulation, interventionism and corruption” should be broken down. Division and discord must be replaced by a focus on “innovation, infrastructure improvements and a policy environment that will foster the job growth necessary to drive the economy forward.”
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