The average economic growth rate of Pakistan was higher than the average of the world economy during the 1960s. Average annual real GDP growth was 6.8 percent at that time.
During the same period, Pakistan was seen as a model of economic development around the world, and there was much praise for its economic progress.
Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, a renowned Pakistani economist and the originator of the Human Development Index (HDI), gave this plan to South Korea which helped it to progress rapidly.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an under-developed country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. There are also HDI for states, cities, villages, etc. by local organizations or companies.
World map by quartiles of Human Development Index in 2011.
At present, many countries envy South Korea, which has progressed in all spheres of national development and ranks as the 26th country in the world with a very high HDI (0.937) as compared to Pakistan which stands at 141st with a medium HDI (0.572) as per the Human Development Report (HDR) 2009 issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
South Korea graduated from the World Bank’s lending list in 1995 and became a member of OECD donor countries the year after. Pakistan is still striving hard to pass from the lending list of donor agencies.
Therefore, the most valuable asset of South Korea is its experience in making the transition from aid recipient to an emerging donor.
Given the contemporary situation of both countries, Pakistan is also keen to replicate this transformative model and the South Korean government has reciprocated by providing opportunities to Pakistan through various programs under its ODA program and through other cooperation.
The Republic of Korea has provided $20.75 million in aid ($15.94 million in grants and $4.81 million in loans) since 1991 to assist in the development of Pakistan.
Both countries have cooperated on various development activities and have many excellent illustrations for this. The construction of the Islamabad-Lahore (two major cities of Pakistan) motorway (M2) is one of them.
The construction of the M2 has not only vitalized communication between the two important cities, but also contributed to the enhancement of road construction technology for domestic Pakistani engineers and mechanics that later became able to pursue their own projects without outside help.
It is very encouraging that there are growing numbers of Korean enterprises which are interested in seeking investment opportunities in Pakistan. KP Chemical Corporation, a subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate Lotte, completed its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Pakistan PTA Ltd (PPTA), investing more than $75 million.
In addition to that, the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has planned to invite more Pakistani officials to Korea for capacity building. Some 100 officials will be invited in 2010, and the number will be doubled to 200 in 2011 and 2012. Country-focused programs will be established to cater for the specific needs of Pakistan.
It is envisaged that in the years to come South Korea will continue reciprocating its assistance and cooperation to Pakistan to an extent that the country will set a worldwide example for countries world that have graduated from the recipients list.
By Muhammad Nadeem: A management consultant serving in the public sector organization of Pakistan. He stayed in Republic of Korea recently for training at Central Officials Training Institute (COTI) arranged by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for public sector officials of the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who shall bell the cat? The one who is sincere, honest and dedicated, which at present seems to be none other than Imran Khan!