ISLAMABAD: The Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (Prime) in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry launched a metropolitan competitiveness index report titled “Cities as Drivers of Growth” which ranked Islamabad as the most competitive city in Pakistan. The report covered Islamabad and four provincial capitals. The report used three main indicators i.e. economic dynamism, infrastructure efficiency and livability. On economic dynamism index, Islamabad was ranked first, Lahore second, Karachi third, Peshawar fourth and Quetta last. On infrastructure efficiency index, Islamabad was ranked first, Quetta second, Lahore third, Karachi fourth and Peshawar last. On livability index Islamabad was first, Karachi second, Quetta third, Peshawar fourth and Lahore last.
Addressing the report launching ceremony, Ms. Ayesha Bilal, Chief Operating Officer of prime said that cities were becoming drivers of growth in the world and there was a greater need to highlight the competitiveness of Pakistani cities that would create more competition among them. She said that prime has focused on federal and provincial capitals in its initial research report while in the next phase, 6 more cities would be covered for such research study. She said ICCI was the key platform of private sector, therefore, Prime decided to launch this report from this platform.
Zia Banday, Director, Prime said that China achieved phenomenal economic growth by focusing on cities and stressed that Pakistan should also follow Chinese model to accelerate its economic growth. He hoped that this researched based index would help the policymakers in devising better plans for the development of cities. Ms. Aniqa Arshad, Research Fellow of Prime gave a detailed presentation on the Metropolitan Competitiveness Index of Prime.
Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry in his welcome address lauded the efforts of PRIME for launching a report titled “Cities as Drivers of Growth” in collaboration with ICCI and hoped that it would provide better guidelines to the current and incoming government for better planning of cities development. He said according to a research study of McKinsey Global Institute, 600 major cities of the world accounted for 60 percent of global GDP which showed that the role of cities was very important in the economic development of a country. He said according to a UN report, cities were playing vital role in the growth of GDP and were providing better opportunities to the people for uplifting of their living standards. He stressed that government should give more focus to the better development of major cities of the country and improve their infrastructure that would help trade and industry to flourish leading to fast growth of economy.
Muhammad Naveed Malik Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI thanked PRIME for launching report on 5 major cities of Pakistan from the platform of ICCI and hoped that it would guide the policymakers and other stakeholders to transform the major cities into true drivers of economic growth.