Friday, May 29, 2015

URSP Student Juwariah Shareef Researches Export Processing Zones in Pakistan

As a Finance major and Economics minor, I am interested in how industrial policy and policies for export promotion affect the economy of developing countries. This past summer, I travelled to China and looked at their export processing zones (EPZs). I became fascinated by their role as engines of economic growth. This past fall, I also took a class on International Economics. The class material on export promotion and trade policies, combined with my experiences in China, have made me very interested in understanding the economic and political conditions for EPZs to attract investments and promote economic growth. While I was studying export processing zones in China I examined their relevance, purpose, results and reason for being such a powerful economic tool in countries such as India and China. At the same time I also questioned the reason as to why they were such a failure in other nations. Being from Pakistan I could only but wonder as to why there was such an obvious contrast in the performance of these zones. I wondered why they gave such amazing performance in China yet failed to produce similar results in Pakistan. For me this is what it means to answer an unanswered question. I search for reasons as to why struggling nations like Pakistan fail to utilize such powerful economic tools for their benefit.                                                              
In my near future I plan on going into valuation. This project will also greatly contribute to reaching my academic and business career goals. It will allow me to develop critical reading, writing and research methodology skills that are highly valuable in financial valuation and analysis. My weekly routines usually involve researching scholarly papers in the field on trade policy, export processing zones, clusters, industrial policy of Pakistan, and economic policy tools of Pakistan. My week involves the use of gathering, critically analyzing and researching all data, reports, articles, interviews, and scholarly papers on the EPZs in Pakistan. This data is found in a variety of sources, including scholarly articles on South-East Asian EPZs, books on Pakistan’s economic and political policies, media sources such as editorial articles and interviews, and reports from the Pakistani government, the World Bank and the International Labor Organization. I gather, analyze and chart my findings. So far my findings have been pretty interesting and this past week I have been looking at the contrast between private industrial clusters and government operated Export Processing Zones in Pakistan. As I further my research, I hope to provide light to the economic policies of Pakistan regarding EPZs. States mired in countless troubles like Pakistan can only move forward if they confront their financial troubles and doing so entails finding solutions in economic policy tools. I believe answering this question will allow me to better understand the situation in Pakistan and fully grasp the troubles of my homeland.