Pakistan Generates Positive Vibes at World Economic Forum in Davos 2018

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were the stars at Davos, not US President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report. The geopolitical momentum lay with Beijing, not Washington, the report said. The forums on BRI and CPEC were among the best attended forums at the World Economic Forum 2018.

CPEC Session: 

New York Times said "a senior Chinese diplomat helped introduce the prime minister of Pakistan at a breakfast meeting. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi used his talk to praise the rapidly expanding Chinese investments in his country, including to build power stations and a large port".

Inclusive Development Report:

More and more Pakistanis are sharing in their nation's development, according to World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in Davos. Pakistan ranks 47 among 74 emerging economies ranked for inclusive development by WEF released recently at Davos, Switzerland. Inclusive development in the South Asian country has increased 7.56% over the last 5 years. World Economic Forum assesses inclusive development  based on "living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness."

BMI Research Report: 

In another report posted on the World Economic Forum website, BMI Research said Pakistan is among the 10 emerging countries it expects to contribute the most to global growth over the next decade. It said Pakistan is one of the "10 emerging markets of the future" — the countries that are set to become new drivers of economic growth over the next 10 years. BMI estimates that these countries will cumulatively add $4.3 trillion to global GDP by 2025 — roughly the equivalent of Japan's current economy.

Here's an excerpt of the BMI Research report:

"Pakistan will develop as a manufacturing hub over the coming years, with the textile and automotive sectors posting the fastest growth at the beginning of our forecast period. Domestic manufacturing investment will be boosted by the windfall from lower energy prices compared to the last decade, and improved domestic energy supply."

Other Engagements: 

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met a number of business leaders including WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and CEOs of several energy and telecom companies on the sidelines of the conference.

In addition to Prime Minister Abbasi, several other prominent Pakistanis including Pakistan Peoples Party leader Bilawal Bhutto, youngest Nobel Laureate Malala Yousufzai and Heartfile CEO Dr. Sania Nishtar also spoke at a number of panel discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were the stars at Davos, not US President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland helped generate positive vibes about Pakistan among the government and business leaders attending the conference. Abbasi's presentation on CPEC drew a lot of attendees making it among the best attended sessions at Davos 2018.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

WEF Inclusive Development Report

Indian PM Modi's Hypocrisy on Full Display at Davos 2018

Pakistan Rising or Falling? Perception vs Reality

Pakistan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Trillion Dollar Economy

Pakistan Education Budget Surpasses Defense Spending

Information Tech Jobs Moving From India to Pakistan

Pakistan is 5th Largest Motorcycle Market

"Failed State" Pakistan Saw 22% Growth in Per Capita Income in Last 5 Years

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Home Appliance Ownership in Pakistani Households

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network


Riaz Haq said…
Projecting Pakistan at Davos 2018

Ikram Sehgal

HELD in association with
the Swiss-Asian Cham
ber of Commerce (SACC), the PAKISTAN PAVILION established for the first time in World Economic Forum (WEF)’s 48 year history at its Annual Meeting at Davos 2018 force-multiplied the country’s presence at the high-profile event this year. A private sector initiative by Pakistan’s two leading business houses, PATHFINDER GROUP and MARTIN DOW GROUP, the Pavilion was manned by Pakistani entrepreneurs/professionals specially flown in from Pakistan from financial services, philanthropy, IT, media etc interacted with international investors, experts and officials and even laymen who came to the event. One must commend the tremendous support of Ms Barbara Möckli-Schneider, Secretary General SACC without whose indefatigable enthusiasm the “Pakistan Pavilion” would not have been possible. Barbara was outstanding representing of all that is good about the Swiss. While how to apply rules and regulations is the prerogative of those made responsible for it, one does not have to be stupid about it. That is why people like Barbara are far more important for the relations between two countries rather than any petty official. Thank you, SACC, thank you Barbara!
Pakistan’s private sector was represented at the Pakistan Pavilion by Javed Akhai, CEO Martin Dow Chemicals and myself as Chairman Pathfinder Group. Heads of various companies of the Pathfinder Group were in attendance. As the country’s largest provider of integrated security solutions and facilities management services, the Group is operational in all major cities and towns of Pakistan. Jawed Akhai, Chairman Martin Dow Group was quite optimistic, “This platform is very important to present the narrative of Pakistan. Many speakers have spoken about the Pakistani perspective and this is what is important, that we put across our point of view.”
Among the participants of the Pakistan Pavilion, the not-for-profit Aman Foundation is a Karachi-based Trust which has developed a complete healthcare eco-system, targeting important healthcare matters. It has been working in building long-term societal resilience by enabling equitable access to quality healthcare and education services. Visitors to the Pavilion were briefed about their philanthropist activities. Commenting on Aman’s presence at the World Economic Forum Aman Foundation’s Chairman and Co-Founder Fayeeza Naqvi said, “We are here as representatives of Pakistan’s social entrepreneurs to explore innovative, yet pragmatic, solutions to the complex social and economic challenges facing our world today. We hope that our participation will take us closer to our aspiration of transforming lives and empowering the most vulnerable in our communities.” We were really proud to have Aman Foundation as a philanthropic partner at Davos 2018 because “our visions to enable people to shape their own paths in life are aligned. In this respect, Aman has developed outstanding programs”.
Several other eminent Pakistani personalities were present, among them was Dr. Ishrat Husain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Dr Sania Nishtar, President and Founder Heart file the many lucrative opportunities that are offered to global investors despite the challenges being faced by Pakistan. Dr Ishrat was very eloquent about the challenges facing the economy and governance, visitors were impressed with his command of facts and his well thought recommendations about possible solutions. Speakers included Dr Huma Baqai, Sidra Iqbal, Amer Mahmood, etc Ambassador Mustafa Kamal Kazi. It was great to have Sultana Siddiqui and Duraid Qureshi of Hum TV there. Explaining in detail Pakistan’s economy, foreign policy imperatives, gender empowerment, the law and order situation, etc, they were credible and forthright in their presentations.
Riaz Haq said…
Davos horizons for Pakistan – Ikram Sehgal
Ikram Sehgal

Over the last 17 years, the regular PAKISTAN BREAKFAST has developed into an institution acknowledged by those attending Davos regularly. Hosted by the PATHFINDER GROUP (for the last four years in association with MARTIN DOW GROUP) did not have as its usual CHIEF GUEST the President or PM of Pakistani. Imran Khan, the Chief Guest three years in a row 2011, 2012 and 2013, chose not to come when he became PM in his own right. With Pakistan facing an economic crisis, it was important for Imran to refute wrong perceptions personally.

Moreover, Imran’s star power could have been leveraged in aid of the country. No matter, at a well-attended dinner at the world famous SCHATZALP, Chief Minister (CM) Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan gave a very eloquent and sound analysis of the situation prevailing in Pakistan. An elected CM for Balochistan representing Pakistan on the world stage tremendously negated the wrong perception prevailing about this important Province in Pakistan’s future. The CM had eloquent and knowledgeable support from Senator Anwaar ul Haq Kakar and Lt Gen Asim Bajwa Commander Southern Command.
Riaz Haq said…

The Davos 2019 theme is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It picks up on two major trends. One: this is a fraught time for global cooperation, as legitimate frustration over the failure of globalization to consistently raise living standards spills over into populism and nationalism. And two: a whole new wave of change is crashing on us in the form of the high-tech digital revolution. With climate change posing an existential threat to our common future, we need to figure out better ways to make the global economy work, and fast.

As Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chief Executive of the World Economic Forum, explains:

“This fourth wave of globalization needs to be human-centred, inclusive and sustainable. We are entering a period of profound global instability brought on by the technological disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the realignment of geo-economics and geopolitical forces. We need principals from all stakeholder groups in Davos to summon the imagination and commitment necessary to tackle it.”

Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed.

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
Riaz Haq said…
The Truth about the Afghan Girl - by Rafia Zakaria

So as innocent and hapless migrants were drowning in the English Channel as the English and French watched , the white savior industrial complex came up with a story to reiterate just how noble and good white people really are. The story involved the infamous “Afghan Girl” whose actual name is Sharbat Gula and whose photo was taken without consent some three decades ago by National Geographic photographer Steven Curry at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan.


Here is the New York Times Story which hails the fact that Sharbat Gula has received asylum in Italy while ignoring the fact that National Geographic and Steven Curry have stolen from her for decades by NEVER sharing a single penny of the millions they have made from her image.

Here is Sharbat Gula”s real story which I wrote about a few years ago;

“In late 2014, the National Geographic website published a list of five of its most memorable covers and the stories behind them. Among the five was Steve McCurry’s photograph of the green-eyed Sharbat Gula, a young Afghan girl living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The other covers featured a dog named Betsy, a very tall tree, an ape named Koko and a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

The “Afghan girl” was left nameless when her picture appeared in June 1985. It was only years later that the magazine returned to find her. The 2002 story on finding the “Afghan girl” renewed the picture’s popularity before Ms Gula was forgotten again.

So it was until last month, when Pakistan’s authorities arrested her in Nauthia in north-west Pakistan and charged her with using fake documents to remain in the country.

The judge ruled that under existing laws, Ms Gula would have to be deported. Things looked dismal for Ms Gula, who suffers from Hepatitis C and is the sole breadwinner for her family, until last Saturday, when a government official announced that she would be permitted to stay on humanitarian grounds.

But according to the latest reports her deportation is actually going to take place later this week.

It is tragic that Pakistani authorities will not let Sharbat Gula stay. Her dependence on their mercy illustrates the vast chasm between the photographer who took her picture and her own hapless life. Bits and pieces from National Geographic’s own reporting reveal more of the story.

A 2002 article begins with the revelation that Ms Gula “remembers her anger” at being photographed back in 1985. McCurry insisted that she told him “he could take her picture.” No explanation is provided as to how the angry Ms Gula, who did not speak English, would have communicated this to McCurry.

The rest of the 2002 story is a challenging read: Pashtuns are “the most warlike of Afghan tribes” and Sharbat Gula has skin “that looks like leather”.

Even more alarming are the pictures that go with it, not for Ms Gula’s lost youth but for the fact that they show her being subjected to a DNA test, and reveal the use of a forensic examiner and a forensic sculptor to aid in confirming her identity.

As the saga of Ms Gula’s arrest unfolded, the old orientalist binary was at work: the government officials of a poor, foreign country wrangling with an even poorer woman, the ugly fight of the wanting versus the wanting watched by a morally superior West, smug inside its own sealed borders.

At the heart of this debate is the assumption that photographs represent real and unassailable truths, that the details of their composition and arrangement are always incidental and politically neutral. As critic Teju Cole has pointed out, this assumption is false and misleading.
Riaz Haq said…
The Truth about the Afghan Girl - by Rafia Zakaria

So as innocent and hapless migrants were drowning in the English Channel as the English and French watched , the white savior industrial complex came up with a story to reiterate just how noble and good white people really are. The story involved the infamous “Afghan Girl” whose actual name is Sharbat Gula and whose photo was taken without consent some three decades ago by National Geographic photographer Steven Curry at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan.


At the heart of this debate is the assumption that photographs represent real and unassailable truths, that the details of their composition and arrangement are always incidental and politically neutral. As critic Teju Cole has pointed out, this assumption is false and misleading.

Far closer to the truth is the fact that in arranging and selecting subjects and pictures that resonate with western imaginings of the exotic and wild Orient, these pictures confirm existing prejudices.

The “Afghan girl” is an example of just that, its feral undertones and high contrast colours confirming precisely the stereotypes seated in the western mind.

Good photography can shred the clichés and enable a deeper, more accurate seeing than the most superficial kind.

None of this has been true in the case of the forgotten Ms Gula, her nameless childhood picture worth more than her penniless, middle-aged reality.”

Steven Curry and National Geographic need to be held responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from Sharbat Gula. But of course, when opportunistic white men and white, orientalist institutions like National Geographic steal from them …. it is entirely okay.”

Riaz Haq said…
CPEC Results According to Wang Wenbin of China

Bilal I Gilani
CPEC projects are creating 192,000 jobs, generating 6,000MW of power, building 510 km (316 miles) of highways, and expanding the national transmission network by 886 km (550 miles),” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing."

Associated Press of Pakistan: On July 5, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif while addressing a ceremony to mark a decade of signing of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said that CPEC has been playing a key role in transforming Pakistan’s economic landscape. He also said that the mega project helped Pakistan progress in the region and beyond. What is your response?

Wang Wenbin: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a signature project of China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era, and an important project under the Belt and Road Initiative. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of CPEC. After ten years of development, a “1+4” cooperation layout has been formed, with the CPEC at the center and Gwadar Port, transport infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation being the four key areas. Projects under CPEC are flourishing all across Pakistan, attracting USD 25.4 billion of direct investment, creating 192,000 jobs, producing 6,000 megawatts of electric power, building 510 kilometers of highways and adding 886 kilometers to the core national transmission network. CPEC has made tangible contribution to the national development of Pakistan and connectivity in the region. China and Pakistan have also explored new areas for cooperation under the framework of CPEC, creating new highlights in cooperation on agriculture, science and technology, telecommunication and people’s wellbeing.

China stands ready to work with Pakistan to build on the past achievements and follow the guidance of the important common understandings between the leaders of the two countries on promoting high-quality development of CPEC to boost the development of China and Pakistan and the region and bring more benefits to the people of all countries.

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