Financial experts discuss economy challenges with Harvard faculty

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chairing a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Cambridge: The inaugural Pakistan Development Forum, held on the campus of Harvard University, was a collaboration between a Harvard Kennedy School research program and one of Pakistan’s foremost policy think tanks.
Top government officials from Pakistan’s financial sector came to the Harvard campus Monday evening to engage with professors from Harvard Kennedy School in a discussion of policies to improve economic growth in the wake of Pakistan’s recent debt crisis.
Pakistan’s Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, spoke with Professor Carmen M. Reinhart, one of Harvard’s foremost experts on international finance.
The panel was moderated by Professor Asim Ijaz Khwaja, director of Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) and cofounder of the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) which co-hosted the event with Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD), a research program within CID.
The event took place at a time when Pakistan is emerging from a macroeconomic crisis of high deficits and low international reserves. In June of this year, the country accepted a $6B bailout from the IMF, and a new World Bank Report says that Pakistan’s “medium-term growth outlook hinges upon the country’s ability to implement necessary structural reforms to boost competitiveness and achieve sustained growth.”
Dr. Shaikh began the discussion by naming several facts that make Pakistan’s challenges distinctive – shifting leadership, short-lived growth spurts, and an inability to make economic alliances before making a case for the current government’s efforts to stabilize the economy. “As a result of tough decisions, we are seeing some good initial results.–PR