In its latest report entitled World Economic Review, the International Monetary Fund has predicted bleak growth prospects in the countries of Middle East, North Africa, including Pakistan. The fund revised its earlier forecast for the global growth to 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, hoping that the global economy will continue to register a healthy growth in 2018 and 2019. Some countries picked up the growth from 2.5 percent in 2017 to 3.6 percent in 2018 but their growth would come down to 3.5 percent after shedding 0.1 percentage point next year. The growth forecast of 3.9 percent is 0.2 percentage points higher than the October last year. Pakistan is facing political instability and economic challenges along with security issues. In the absence of a strong government in the centre, criminals, anti-state elements and hostile countries in the neighbourhood are posing serious threat to peace and stability in the region. Pakistan is an emerging economy, a big consumer market and future hub of business and trade in the region. If mal-administration is showing signs of degradation in the country’s economy, India and Afghanistan are doing everything possible to destabilize the whole region. Both the countries are inflicting collateral damage on every country in the region.
The IMF outlook depicts brighter prospects for the emerging economies in Asia, which will grow at the rate of 6.5 percent in the next two years. The report also claims the region will achieve over half of the world growth. Due to stronger external demand, Chinese growth will moderately pick up in two years. On another note, Indian growth is likely to pick up from 6.7 percent in 2017 to 7.4 percent in 2018 and 7.8 percent in 2019 and may be able to keep itself stable in the ASEAN region. There is a lesson for the Pakistani leadership and the policymakers to put their own house in order if they want to achieve sustainable growth. The government writ is weak and will is absent. When political leadership fights, the government machinery fails to work. The political elite will have to develop a sense of responsibility in them to fight the challenges. The IMF report reveals unfortunate aspect of the national economy. India in the neighbourhood is going ahead with expected growth, but Pakistan’s growth forecast will not be up to the mark in the next two years.