Key Discussion Themes

Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth

Economic growth is the process whereby the national output of a country increases over a period of time and usually measured in numerical values. It is however, not a sufficient indicator for real progress unless inclusive and sustainable. Inclusive economic growth is not only about expanding the size of national economies but also about ensuring equitable growth that benefit all sections of society especially the vulnerable. The “equality of opportunity” and “participation in growth by all” with a special focus on the working poor, unemployed and different groups & segments of the society (on the basis of region, religion and gender etc.) are the very basis of inclusive growth. Another challenge related to growth, besides the inclusive growth, is the sustained and sustainable growth i.e. growth should be stable (sustained) and must be achieved through sustainable use of the natural resources to protect future generations’ ability to also use them.

The world nations agreed to a new framework for development in the shape Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have also been adopted and localized by the Government of Punjab. The Goal (SDG) 8 specifically mentionsabout promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.SDG 10 is to ‘reduce income inequality’, whereas, SDG 11 is to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’. It is also one of the targets of Punjab Growth Strategy 2018, a primary policy document of the government for economic growth and development. It also suggests various measures to accelerate economic growth and improvesocialoutcomesin Punjab.

In the wake of Punjab Growth Strategy and SDGs framework, the first technical session of the Punjab Economic Forum (PEF) will focus on “Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth”. In the first place, first draft of Punjab Economic Report will be shared with the participants, being prepared by Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI) with the scholarly input of LUMS. This will not only help participants to analyze the latest economic condition of the province but also set the stage for discussions in other technical sessions as well. . The next speaker would highlight the roadmap to achieve SDGs and would also discuss main challenges for the government. Environmental considerations would also be one of the major areas of discussion to be presented by the third speaker. Further discussion, in the session, would remain focus on various policy options that need to be adopted to achieve objectives of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the province.