Poor performance has made Pakistan the 11th least prosperous country in the world in 2016. Pakistan’s unstable democracy, labouring under constant threat from Islamic extremists, has constrained its ability to deliver prosperity to its citizens. It has been ranked 139th out of 149 countries in the annual Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI) 2016.
The annual Legatum Prosperity Index has declared New Zealand to be the most prosperous country in its rankings for 2016, while putting Pakistan near the bottom with a rank of 139 in a total of 149 countries listed. India, America, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh have been ranked 104, 17, 10, 85 and 114 respectively.
The London-based Legatum Institute is “an independent non-partisan public policy organistation” that promotes research and programmes to help countries make their societies free and prosperous. The Legatum Prosperity Index™ is a unique and robust assessment of global wealth and wellbeing, which benchmarks 149 countries around the world in nine distinct sub-indices economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital and natural environment.
The index covers more than 96% of the world’s population and 99% of the world’s GDP. LPI’s Pakistan profile suggests that despite considerable improvements in its economic quality sub index, gaining 16 ranks since 2009, Pakistan’s low score in Safety and Security -well within the global bottom ten at 143rd – is seriously undermining its development. The constant terror threat is having a devastating impact on the country’s Business Environment performance and is a major cause of its low social prosperity indicators such as Social Capital, Health and Education, consequently hampering labour force productivity and economic growth.
Pakistan slipped from its ranking and slipped one place in the last three years in the propensity index. In the social capital sub-index, Pakistan slipped from 117 to 137 and also turned down its place in Business Environment sub-index from 97 to 117. In the other sub-indices, the country was ranked 98th in Economic Quality; 125th in Education; 100th in Governance; 121st in Health; 132nd in Personal Freedom and 143rd in Safety and Security.
Pakistan is rock bottom in the Natural Environment sub-index the report adding that Pakistan’s natural environment has stagnated over the past four years. Among the region’s countries, Afghanistan was placed 148th, Nepal 94th, Malaysia 38th, China 90th and Indonesia 61st. The institute judges economies by macroeconomic policies, economic satisfaction and expectations, foundations for growth and financial sector efficiency.
The report states about Pakistan, “However, environmental problems aside, bad governance and poor security are Pakistan’s main obstacles to prosperity. Endemic corruption combined with a terrible rule of law, has caused political instability and ensured that what little growth occurs is not translated well into prosperity.”
Political events and security threats are keeping foreign investment flows low, undermining economic activity and contributing to the Business Environment sub-index having plummeted by 39 ranks over the last decade. The report warned that these factors were seriously hampering Pakistan’s prosperity development, notably keeping health, education, and social capital sub-indices in the global bottom 30, as the country cannot prosper under such threats, the report reads further.
Source: Daily Times
Byline: Adnan Yousuf
December 11, 2016