On September 26, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center held a public discussion on “Challenges Facing Pakistan’ Economy,” with Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, finance minister of Pakistan.

Two years have passed since Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced his government’s goals of “dialogue, development and deterrence” at the World Economic Forum. However, the government of Pakistan still struggles to address political, social, and economic challenges facing its people. With increasing violence within its borders and a deepening tension in its relationship with the US, the need for the government to push through an effective economic policy remains more urgent than ever. However, skepticism over its ability to do so remains.

Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, a renowned economist who assumed the role of Pakistan’s minister of finance in March 2010, addressed critical challenges facing Pakistan’s economy, the consequences of economic failure in the region, and the initiatives the civilian government and the international community are taking to ensure economic stability and increase confidence from within.

Dr. Shaikh has over thirty years of experience in economic policymaking, management and implementation. Prior to assuming the role of finance minister, he served as the federal minister for privatisation and investment, and as chairman of the board of the Pakistan Privatisation Commission. Before joining the federal government as advisor to the prime minister, he served in the Sindh provincial government as minister for finance, planning and development. At the World Bank, Dr. Shaikh was the country head for Saudi Arabia and has advised more than eighteen countries on economic affairs. Previous to working at the World Bank, he worked at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has a PhD in economics from Boston University and has authored publications, such as Argentina’s Privatisation Program.

A discussion with

Abdul Hafeez Shaikh
Finance Minister
Ministry of Finance, Government Pakistan

Moderated by

Zubair Iqbal
Scholar, Middle East Institute, Washington DC
Former Assistant Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund 

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