ISLAMABAD, Aug 8 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday launched the National Growth Center (NGC) aimed at putting the country on a steady path of economic development, innovation and prosperity.
Addressing the launching ceremony here, he highlighted the importance of fostering an environment of sustainable development, creating jobs, empowering communities, and stimulating economic diversification. “Our goal is nothing short of positioning Pakistan as a hub of innovation and progress on the global stage.”
The main NGC center would be based at the Planning Ministry while such facilities would be operating in various universities of the country.
He said the NGC was not merely a physical space but a symbol of commitment to the future, a testament to an unwavering belief in the potential of people and national resources.
“We envision these growth centers as catalysts for holistic growth where industry, academia, and government collaborate seamlessly, groundbreaking research meets practical application, and local communities flourish alongside the national economic expansion.”
In the pursuit of this vision, the minister said, the government would lay the foundation for a thriving ecosystem by focusing on several critical areas including infrastructure development, education research, industry and entrepreneurship, sustainability and green initiatives besides local community empowerment.
Elaborating, Ahsan Iqbal said modern infrastructure was the backbone of any thriving economy. “Therefore, our growth centers will be equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class transportation networks, reliable energy sources, and cutting-edge communication systems – that will attract both domestic and foreign investments.”
Commenting on education and research, he said knowledge was the key to progress and these centers would house prestigious research institutions and universities, nurturing a culture of innovation and intellectual excellence. “This will not only retain our brightest minds but also attract international talent, spurring technological advancements and driving economic growth.
About industry and entrepreneurship, the minister said these centers would serve as incubators for start-ups and entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary support, mentorship, and funding to turn their ideas into thriving businesses. “We will establish special economic zones within these centers, enabling industries to flourish and trade to thrive.”
Explaining sustainability and green initiatives, he said environmental responsibility was a cornerstone of the incumbent government’s development strategy. “Our growth centers will be models of sustainable urban planning, integrating green spaces, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly infrastructure to ensure a harmonious coexistence between development and the environment.”
Whereas, he said under the local community empowerment initiative, the government focused on macroeconomic growth without ignoring the micro-level impact. “The growth centers will directly benefit local communities through job creation, skills development, and improved quality of life.”
The minister said this ambitious endeavor would require the collective efforts of the government, private sector, academia, and civil society. “We invite investors, entrepreneurs, scholars, and citizens to join hands in shaping the destiny of our nation.”
He stressed the need for embarking on this journey with a renewed sense of purpose, guided by the principles of innovation, inclusivity, and sustainable progress. “Together, we will create a legacy that generations will celebrate – a legacy of a prosperous, thriving, and globally competitive Pakistan.”