Pakistan a land of opportunities Pakistan ranks among the fast-growing economies in Asia with a 5 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth-rate. Agriculture contributes to 24 per cent of GDP. It is the mainstay of the economy and employs about 48 per cent of the manpower. The share of the manufacturing sector in GDP has been increasing steadily and has shown a growth rate of over 8 per cent over the years. Cotton-yam and textiles lead the manufacturing sector. With -the liberalisation of the economy and the structural reforms initiated by the government, there has been a growing emphasis on the development of the engineering, electrical and non-electrical machinery, automobile, chemical and processed food industries. The economic package being implemented by the Government of Pakistan encompasses a comprehensive programme to revitalise the economy, assigning high priority to harnessing the potential of the agricultural sector, promoting small and medium-sized industries, stimulating industrial growth, encouraging oil and gas sector development and arranging the growth of the software and information technology industry.
Owing to the policies of the government to adopt a market-friendly approach, Pakistan is now viewed as a leading emerging market. This perception has resulted in a strong flow of foreign investment and collaboration in various fields. Pakistan offers very profitable investment opportunities to both local and foreign investors, and private investment is being encouraged in major sectors of the economy. Pakistan has a fairly large market with an availability of skilled and trained manpower at competitive rates. There is also a large emerging middle class in the country. Pakistan, due to its strategic location, provides an ideal transit route to the markets of Iran, Central Asian Republics and the Middle East.
Gadani ship-breaking yard is the world’s third largest ship breaking yard. The yard consists of 132 ship-breaking plots located across a 10 km long beachfront at Gadani,Pakistan, about 50 kilometres northwest of Karachi.
In the 1980s, Gadani was the largest ship-breaking yard in the world, with more than 30,000 direct employees. However, competition from newer facilities in Alang, India andChittagong, Bangladesh resulted in a significant reduction in output, with Gadani, today, producing less than one fifth of the scrap it produced in the 1980s. The recent reduction in taxes on scrap metal has led to a modest resurgence of output at Gadani, which now employs around 6,000 workers.
Over 1 million tons of steel is scavenged per year, and much of it is sold domestically. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, a record 107 ships, with a combined light displacement tonnage (LDT) of 852,022 tons, were broken at Gadani whereas in the previous 2008-2009 fiscal year, 86 ships, with a combined LDT of 778,598 tons, were turned into scrap.
There is a large horticulture export market and Pakistan though an agricultural economy is only marginally present in this market. The size of the global horticulture market was worth $77 billion in 1998. Out of a total world horticulture import market of $77 billion in 1998, the fruit and vegetable segments constituted a $60 billion market while fruit and vegetable juices contributed $6 billion. Cut flowers market accounted for $5 billion; bulbs contributed $4 billion while spices had a share of $2 billion. Fruits had taken the lead with a 40 per cent share and vegetables followed this with a 38 per cent share while fruits and vegetable juices contributed another 8 per cent. Thus together fruits and vegetables make a major component (86 per cent then horticulture market. Flowers at 6 per cent then bulbs follow this at 59 per cent and finally smallest share of spices at 3 per cent. Nature has bestowed upon Pakistan a land and climate conducive to growth of a wide spectrum of fruits and vegetables. The produce of fruit and vegetable in Pakistan comes from approximately 811,800 hectares or about 4 per cent of the country’s cultivated areas.
The major fruits are citrus, mangoes, dates, bananas and guavas. Mango, kino, apple, dates, pine nuts, oranges and guava are few well exported fruits and among vegetables are potato, onion, mushroom, garlic, chilly etc.