Policy in Pakistan has been fairly path-dependant, placing a higher weight on export promotion and domestic industrialisation development than on domestic commerce. Yet domestic commerce is growing rapidly, and quite possibly is the largest sector in the economy. This paper argues that a more holistic policy, with no favourites, that allows for all sectors to grow leads to better long-term economic results. A vibrant domestic commerce sector is the core of the economy facilitating intermediation between supply and demand, entrepreneurial development, risk-taking, innovation, and competitive markets. Such an economy moves beyond commodity exports to brand name, process, and capital exports, all of which command a higher rate of return. Pakistan could therefore achieve a higher and a more sustainable growth rate by adopting a more balanced growth strategy.
Awake the Sleeper Within: Releasing the Energy of Stifled Domestic Commerce!
PIDE Working Papers 2006:11