Governor Sindh inaugurates 1st International Virtual Conference

1st International Virtual Conference on “Economics and Sustainable Development” at the IBA Karachi

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Governor Sindh, H.E. Mr. Imran Ismail, inaugurated the 1st International Conference on “Economics and Sustainable Development” hosted virtually by the School of Economics and Social Sciences at the IBA Karachi, in collaboration with the Centre for Business and Economic Research.

In his speech, the Governor Sindh spoke at length on the devastating impact of Covid-19 and the hardships faced by Pakistani households. “The households adopted adverse coping strategies to deal with this shock. They reduced their expenditure on health, and education and switched to lower quality or decreased quantity of food. In this context, I appreciate the lead taken by the IBA to discuss and bring to the table the economic and social issues in the current times.”

The Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, highlighted the reason for organizing the conference, “There is a need for us to think about why Pakistan’s economy is not doing well and understand a wide range of explanation for our present imbroglio. This extensive conference will touch upon current macroeconomic concerns and help policymakers in making informed decisions on matters related to inequality, economic growth and development”.

Later, celebrated economist and accomplished author, Dr. Lant Pritchett from the University of Oxford delivered the keynote address. In his speech, Dr. Pritchett spoke at length on state capability and the major role that governments and policymakers play in the development process, constantly introducing reforms and policies to achieve developmental objectives. Many of these interventions have limited impact, and reveal gaps in capabilities, and weaknesses in the process of building state capability.

Dr. Pritchett highlighted that state capability is central to achieving higher levels of human wellbeing outcomes in some ways even more important than growth. “In a centralized system all the sub-units, whether political or administrative, are compliance driven, however, in highly regulated, weak capability states, making the law stronger reduces compliance.” Dr. Pritchett presented a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation process which empowers people working in governments to find and fit solutions to the problems they face and help the governments in building state capabilities.

Technical parallel sessions followed Dr. Pritchett’s address, where PhD scholars and leading researchers presented their papers on a variety of topics ranging from free-trade challenges for Pakistan to fiscal challenges in South-Asian countries.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion on “Growth and Economic Stability: Challenges and Prospects” featuring renowned speakers including Dr. Miftah Ismail, former Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haque, Vice Chancellor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr. Sakib Sherani, CEO Macro Economic Insights & Member of the Economic Advisory Council, and Mr. Asim Bashir Khan, PhD Scholar at the IBA Karachi.