CPEC helps develop human capital of Pakistan: Talat

ISLAMABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a valuable asset for Pakistan’s socio-economic development, leverages the country’s abundant human capital, encompassing its skilled workforce, knowledge, and potential to foster economic growth and prosperity, experts said.
Dr Talat Shabbir, Director of China-Pakistan Study Centre at Islamabad Strategic Study Institute, told WealthPK that human capital development is linked to the economic progress and prosperity of a nation because people accumulate capital, explore the natural resources and build social, political and economic organisation. He said most of the developing nations are based on agrarian economies which depend upon labour productivity.
“Labour of developed countries is ten times more productive than developing countries because they have more opportunities and technological innovations to enhance their skills and productivity,” Dr Talat pointed out.
“We have a great example of China how it invests in labour productivity, and now it has become one of the top world economies. Pakistan can learn the kind of growth that China has achieved by making continuous efforts to tackle its present challenges and moving towards human development,” he said.
“This multibillion-dollar project is expected to open significant avenues of employment, especially after the establishment of the proposed special economic zones (SEZs),” he added.
Dr Mukhtar, Vice Chancellor of National Skills University, told WealthPK that human resource is one of the key elements for any economy. He said a skilled and trained workforce is always an encouraging prospect for foreign investors.
“So, if the youth are provided with technical training in different fields, they can compete in international markets and contribute to the economic development of their own country,” he emphasised.
Dr Mukhtar said more attention should be given to advanced technology, and focus on vocational and skills training of the workforce is critical.
“A welcome development in this regard is that the Chinese firms are already involved in technical skill building of the Pakistani youth to enable them to be prepared for work under the CPEC programs. This includes emphasis on vocational training (such as the construction of the Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar), scholarships, and exchange programs for university and college students,” he mentioned.
“Pakistan needs to take serious notice of its skilled human capital deficiency to maximise returns from the opportunities arising out of the implementation of CPEC SEZs,” he said.
Dr Mukhtar said the government needs to devise a framework focusing on the skill development of the workforce and adequate provision of associated services in order to stand on equal footing with the rest of the regional economies. – INP