The Global Social Network
Presentation by Mohsin Chandna, Economic Minister at Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC, to University of Chicago Pakistan Club on May 3, 2014.
Pakistan needs investment of 20% of GDP to achieve 5% economic growth, a capital-to-output ratio (COR) of four, according to Mohsin Mushtaq Chandna, economic minister at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC.
Pakistan's current investment rate (savings+FDI) is about 12% of GDP which is producing about 3% GDP growth.
#Pakistan’s debt-fueled journey from $6b to over $15b in foreign exchange reserves under #PMLN #Nawazsharif #PTI #PPP http://tribune.com.pk/story/972449/sbps-reserves-pakistans-journey-... …
In addition to total disbursements amounting to $4.5 billion from the IMF since 2013, Pakistan has also raised at least $3.5 billion from the international bond market by floating Sukuks and Eurobonds.
In its many reports on the economy, the SBP has made it abundantly clear that it is not particularly fond of the government’s approach to shore up foreign exchange reserves on borrowed funds.
It should be noted that repayments to the Paris Club — following the debt rescheduling of December 2001 – are set to begin in 2016-17 whereas IMF repayments will start from 2017-18. It is against this backdrop that the SBP believes shifting financing away to non-debt creating inflows (i.e. foreign investments) is a must to strengthen the country’s debt servicing capacity in the future.
“A sustainable solution requires narrowing the FX gap with real earnings from exports and/or remittances, rationalisation of imports, and curbing smuggling,” the central bank advised the government in one of its recent reports.
Arab News Pakistan
#OPINION: Over the last three years, #Pakistan’s savings rate has improved from a low of 5.4 percent to 19.9 percent since 2020-- all helped by a robust growth in remittances and a deepening financial system, writes
Nearly 4X increase in #Pakistan’s #savings rate in past 3 years is very welcome news for the country’s #economic growth! Savings are extremely important for increased #investment to spur #gdp growth in any country, including Pakistan.
Over the last two decades, Pakistan has not only experienced a chronically low gross domestic savings rate but has also seen the savings rate decline until recently. According to data from the World Bank, the gross domestic saving rates fell from 16.4 percent in 2000 to just 5.4 percent in 2019. Pakistan’s savings rate compares unfavorably with East Asian countries and South Asian peers. Bangladesh and India have seen their savings rates increase over the same period, which in 2019 stood at 25 percent and 28.2 percent respectively.
Several studies show the relationship between the savings rate and economic growth, especially in developing countries. Economist Robert Solow first argued that larger savings result in higher investments and increased production (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1956). Other economists such as McKinnon (Money and capital in economic development, 1973) and Shaw (Financial deepening in economic development, 1973) further emphasized the causative relationship between savings and economic development. Empirical evidence shows that as income increases with higher economic growth, it tends to also boost capital accumulation. Such favorable conditions help create a virtuous cycle of further investment and accelerating economic growth.
However, it is not always easy to identify the determinants of a society’s savings propensity. The collective spending behavior of households and public and private entities is subject to several interdependent social and economic factors. Literature suggests that a major factor of savings rates is the level of financial deepening in a society, that is, inter alia, the percentage of the population holding bank accounts, the development of financial markets and the diversity in financial instruments available.
Other factors influencing the savings propensity include culture, religion, and demographic factors such as the labour force participation rate and dependency ratio. Pakistan’s high fertility rate and burgeoning dependent youth population does not encourage household savings. The interplay of disparate factors is not always obvious, and yet often converge to affect the direction of the national savings rate. There is a consensus that people with high levels of income have a greater propensity to save and vice versa. However, for this to be sustainable, the growth should be through productivity gains and not consumption driven that is fuelled by external borrowings. If higher incomes do not result in investments in productive capacity, then the long-term savings rate is unlikely to improve and may even decline.
That has been the case with Pakistan where the economy expanded despite relatively low and declining domestic savings rates between 2000 and 2019. Such a growth model was unsustainable because the savings-investment gap was filled by foreign funding, primarily in the form of borrowings. More perversely, the economic growth was largely consumption-driven and masked the structural issue of low savings rate. It has led the country closer than ever to a foreign debt trap where the bulk of new external funding is not deployed in productive capacity but rather to service old foreign debts.