April 2018: In its latest WEO, IMF revises Pakistan GDP growth forecast:

2018: 5.3%

2019: 5.6%

2020: 4.7%

6 June 2017: Pakistan GDP is set to grow by 5.5% by 2020: IMF

2 Nov 2016: IMF appreciates economic reforms program of Pakistan which helped the country restore macroeconomic stability.

In a letter to PM Sharif, IMF’s Christine Lagarde says Pakistan should continue pushing ahead with reforms to facilitate a deeper structural transformation of the economy.

24 Oct: Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, congratulates PM Sharif on successfully completing the IMF programme, saying the completion reflected positively on the country and was viewed as a symbol of credibility and stability.

“Pakistan is now in a better fiscal position and certainly out of economic crisis,” according to PM Office.

More about Pakistan

Harvard predicts Pakistan GDP to grow by 6% over 10 years

Pakistan is the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy: The Economist

Pakistan GDP to grow at 5.5% in 2018: World Bank

Pakistan is now an Emerging Market

China-led SCO admits Pakistan as full member this week

In a corruption-riddled world, Pakistan is better than one-third countries: TI

Pakistan petrol prices 18th lowest in the world


Pakistan GDP is set to grow by 5.3 percent in 2020, according to an IMF growth forecast for Pakistan, published in Bloomberg this year.

The forecast shows a consistently rising trend until 2020 when it plateaus.

This immediate forecast is in line with other medium-term forecasts by Harvard’s CID (up to year 2024), as published on this blog, BMI Research UK (by year 2025) and World Economic Forum (video), Switzerland.

In the longer term, several forecasts by Goldman Sachs, PwC and HSBC rank Pakistan as one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2050.

These forecasts are mentioned in Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050, published in The News, Pakistan’s largest-selling daily on 14 August 2016, and a live TV show I did earlier on Business Plus this year.

Economy, related:

Pakistan at $300B is world’s 40th largest economy

Worried about Pakistan’s debt? You must see this

How China overtakes the US economy

It’s the economy, stupid

The world in 2100


However, one worry. Pakistan tax-to-GDP ratio (a mere 10.1 percent) is among the bottom 15 of 100+ economies.

According to Bloomberg, although about 360,000 Pakistanis registered as new tax-filers since 2013 when Nawaz Sharif took over, the total is still only 1.1 million, or less than 1 percent of the population. IMF insists that this indicator needs to improve.

The government is aiming to achieve 12.2 percent tax-to-GDP ratio and 1.8 million tax returns in current fiscal year 2016-17.

Another worry is missed growth targets.

Have you seen CPEC & OBOR stories on this blog?

CPEC fact sheet: 2013-2018

16 CPEC projects in Balochistan, 8 in KPK: Chinese Embassy

Chinese Embassy shares progress on CPEC projects

40 CPEC projects in 4 photos & 60 seconds

CPEC gets 4-layer security as Gwadar to be weapon-free

China’s world-reshaping Belt and Road Initiative


October 2016: IMF has revised down the forecast of the global economy growth in 2016. It will slow to 3.08 percent from 3.2 percent in 2015. How will this global slowdown affect Pakistan’s growth?

Pakistan’s travel infrastructure

Mass-transit transport in urban Pakistan taking shape

For Rs 20, take a Metro ride from Pindi to Islamabad

Multan gets its Metro bus service

Lahore Orange Line Metro Train may start in October

e-ticketing on Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi

Karachi to get Green Line bus service by year-end

In another report, Bloomberg highlights Pakistan’s missed targets of GDP growth over the past 10 years (see below).

My suggestion for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would be that instead of trying to fix all issues at once – which could a daunting task in this current inefficient system – his team could run various simulations based on our high-performing sectors. The sectors which have demonstrated growth in these three years and are promising need to be further developed.

Pakistan doesn’t to fix all issues in order to become a hyper-performing economy. It just needs to focus on sectors where more value can be achieved – nearly effortlessly – in the short term and a point or two could be added to GDP growth. Analytics and trends data could be handy for Minister Dar and his finance team.


29 June 2017: Another worry is Pakistan’s current account balance. The Economist graphic below:

Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series

What to expect in Pakistan in 2017

Back to the future: Pakistan in 2050

Wali on Pakistan of future

Long Term Orientation in Pakistan: from Zero to 50 in 2 years

Pakistani culture through 6-D Model

Native languages in Pakistan

How future oriented are we?

How we messed up Pakistan: A series by Wali

Pakistan’s two value crimes no one talks about

Is Whatsapp your source of info? Welcome to Project Ignorance


7 Nov 2016: On a positive side, China’s CPEC billions are luring foreign investors to Pakistan: Bloomberg.

1 July 2017: The FY 2016-17 saw $2 billion worth of DFI in the country.