Asia to emerge new engine of growth: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Mar 31 (APP): Minister Planning, Development and Reforms Prof. Ahsan Iqbal Friday said that Asia emerged as new engine of growth for world economy with its share expected to be greater than 52% of world GDP by 2050.
He said this while chairing Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable
Development (APFSD) conference.
In his concluding remarks he said, “Asia Pacific is home to 4.3
billion people which is two third of world’s population. Rising inequality
is a major challenge for sustainable development. Inclusive development
strategies must be developed and implemented for uplifting lives of billions of people in Asia Pacific region.
Regional cooperation and connectivity holds promise for future as
international regional trade is very low.
Technology and innovation are reshaping social and economic landscapes with unprecedented speed. Disruption and innovation are hallmarks of new era, which will impact lives of people on continuous basis. This requires collective and collaborative action at all levels. Asia Pacific is most affected by Climate Change. Asia-Pacific countries must work together to mitigate its impact.”
He also chaired an interactive meeting with Civil Society members at
the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) in Bangkok on March 31, 2017.
The Civil Society representatives from more than sixty countries of the Asia Pacific region shared ideas for expanding regional for mutual prosperity in the region.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal briefed the status of inequalities and under development in various sub regions of Asia particularly the South Asia which is lagging behind in development due to conflicts and connectivity.
He said that the countries of Asia Pacific were facing challenges of
climate change, exclusion and limited financial and trade services.
He said that more cohesive and comprehensive efforts were required by
the countries of the region to fill the gaps and cooperate with each other on all issues of sustainable development and to create national ownership of SDGs.
He said development can’t be carried out by governments alone.
Civil society Organizations are important partners in development process.
Ahsan Iqbal also chaired a meeting of Asia Pacific Disability
Constituency where participate from disabilities groups from Pakistan also contributed.
Prof Iqbal emphasized on the role of people with disabilities in
achieving the SDGs as they are almost one billion and most vulnerable for poverty and play an important role in national growth.
He said that physical disability shouldn’t be a constraining factor.
Real disability is in mind with negative thinking and low self esteem.
Many people with physical disabilities have achieved great laurels.
Prof Iqbal, chaired the last session of APFSD and facilitated adoption of the report.
Member States appreciated greatly his work and contribution especially
in smooth adoption a regional road map for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal will remain the Chairman of APFSD until its next
Session in 2018.