SKILL DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTIVITY, AND GROWTH
The purpose of the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) is to provide a forum where leading professional economists, other social scientists, and policy-makers can exchange ideas on the vital economic and social issues facing Pakistan. With the passage of time, the philosophy of development has undergone a profound change. There is now, as never before, an increasing awareness of the complexities involved in the development process which has engendered a greater sense of realism. In Pakistan’s development experience, a number of problems typically confronting developing countries in their progress towards a self- reliant economy have been tackled. These problems are complex and multi-dimensional in nature. High rates of population growth, uneven distribution of income, rising levels of poverty, low literacy rates, poor quality of education, shortage of skilled and technical manpower, poor health facilities, relatively low savings rates, large internal and external deficits, and inadequate physical infrastructure for energy generation and communications threaten to nullify the modest economic gains made here, as in many other developing countries. Despite these problems, the development process in Pakistan has progressed reasonably well, although not without encountering difficulties. The Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Society is also an occasion for stock-taking of the work done, at PIDE and elsewhere, on various socio-economic problems of Pakistan, as well as for suggesting new initiatives for further research. These Meetings provide for the much-needed communication amongst the economics profession, policy-makers, and various schools of interested observers of the ongoing debate concerning development-related issues. Keeping in view the challenge of global socio-economic changes together with the aim of achieving sustained growth, the theme of the conference this year is: Skill Development, Productivity, and Growth. The 21st Annual General Meeting and Conference, being held on December 19-21, 2005, will address important topics such as agricultural productivity, industrial and international economic issues, gender, youth and socio-economic development, demographic and health issues, science and technology, skill development and industrial growth, financial markets, human development, trade and monetary and fiscal policy, and economic growth in Pakistan. Following the Inaugural Address by the Chief Guest, the Keynote Address will be delivered by Professor Atta-ur-Rahman. The Quaid-i-Azam Memorial Lecture, being delivered by Professor Robert E. Evenson of Yale University, is titled “The Green Revolution and the Gene Revolution in Pakistan: Policy Implications”. The Allama Iqbal Memorial Lecture, by Dr Rashid Amjad of the International Labour Organisation, will be on “Skill and Competitiveness: Can Pakistan Break Out of the Low-level Skills Trap?” The Mahbub ul Haq Memorial Lecture, titled “Social Capital and Economic Development: Lessons from Pierre Bourdieu”, will be delivered by Professor M. Ali Khan of The Johns Hopkins University, USA. In addition, the Distinguished Lectures include: (1) “Productivity and Skills in Industry and Services- A British-German Comparison”; (2) “Does Education Abroad Help to Alleviate Poverty at Home? An Assessment”; (3) “Human Capital and Economic Growth in Pakistan”; (4) “Productivity and Economic Growth”; and (5) “Reforms Productivity and Efficiency in Banking: The Indian Experience”. Round Table discussions will be held on: “Skill Development, Productivity, and Growth” and “Pro-poor Growth and Governance in South Asia—Decentralisation and Participatory Development”.
PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE 21st ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF PSDE – 2005
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