Country Listing

Pakistan Table of Contents



As of early 1994, foreign tourism remained relatively undeveloped. Annual tourist arrivals averaged 442,136 for the period 1985-89 but fell to 284,779 in 1990 because of uncertainties generated from the Persian Gulf War. The number of tourist arrivals rose to 415,529 in 1991. Many of the arrivals are visitors of Pakistani origin who have settled in Europe and North America. Pakistan has considerable tourist potential, but the generally poor law and order situation in the late 1980s and early 1990s discouraged rapid growth. Hotels meeting international standards are concentrated in the larger cities, especially Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi.

In early 1994, the immediate future of the economy appeared uncertain. Although the economy is responding well to the government's liberalization program, and many sectors appear poised to achieve healthy rates of growth, economic prospects are constrained by the government's large budget deficits, the continued absorption of public expenditures by defense and interest payments, and the perception of widespread corruption. Pakistan remains heavily dependent on foreign aid donors. The failure to address more adequately the nation's low levels of education and health is also likely to act as a constraint on economic growth in the remainder of the 1990s.

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Two publications from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the annual Country Profile: Pakistan, Afghanistan and the quarterly Country Report: Pakistan, Afghanistan, provide up-to-date information on the economy. More detailed analysis is found in two annual publications of Pakistan's Ministry of Finance, the Economic Survey and the Economic Survey Statistical Supplement. Two monthly periodicals, the National Bank of Pakistan Monthly Economic Letter and the Economic Outlook are also useful. Shahid Javed Burki deserves special mention as one of the most astute writers on the Pakistani economy, especially as it relates to the nation's historical and social legacy. His Pakistan: A Nation in the Making and Pakistan: The Continuing Search for Nationhood all include important essays pertinent to the economy, as does Pakistan under the Military, coauthored by Craig Baxter. Other recent general accounts of the economy include Nadeem Qasir's Pakistan Studies, B.M. Bhatia's Pakistan's Economic Development, 1948-88, and Anita M. Weiss's Culture, Class, and Development in Pakistan. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of April 1994