Islamabad tops 2018, Lahore in 2nd

Islamabad has been ranked the most competitive city of Pakistan, by policy research think tank, The Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME).

These findings were made public in a report titled “Metropolitan Competitiveness Index: Cities as Drivers of growth” which was launched at the Islamabad Chambers of Commerce and Industries.

In its first year, the Metropolitan Competitiveness Index measured competitiveness between the four provincial capitals and the Federal Capital. President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Shiekh Amir Waheed, said that Cities are playing a vital role in driving the economies of many countries.

He said that the government should look towards enhancing critical infrastructure and governance with the urban centers of Pakistan, to create the greatest impact on productivity and growth. He lauded PRIME’s efforts, saying the Islamabad based think tank is playing a critical role in providing advice and analysis to the government and civil society.

The other cities measured were, Lahore ranked at 2nd place, Karachi at 3rd place, Peshawar at 4th and Quetta at 5th. The report presents an informed comparative analysis of the competitiveness of Pakistani cities with quantitative city-based data.

Director of PRIME Institute Mr. Zia Banday said that Pakistan’s cities can play a critical role in combating poverty, but the government must work to generate data at the local level. He said that the Chambers of Commerce in all cities of the country had undoubtedly the most important part to play in the development and improvement of metropolitan competitiveness. Mr. Banday said that by next year, the metropolitan competitiveness index would expand its scope to compare even more cities from Pakistan.

According to one of the co-author of the Report, Ms. Aniqa Arshad three pillars were chosen to identify competitiveness of the cities namely Economic Dynamism, Infrastructure Efficiency, and Livability Aspects. She shared that a total of 41 indicators had been measured. The main objective of the report is to collect, compile and update information and data at the local level from Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta, and Karachi to create the Metropolitan Competitiveness Index (MCI) for each. In order to capture the perceptions regarding competitiveness, the study also presents findings of consultations arranged in each city and compares these perceptions to the MCI based on factual data. People from the private sector, academia, local government and civil society participated in these talks.

Islamabad is ranked 1st in economic dynamism, infrastructure efficiency, and livability aspects. The index value for Islamabad is much higher as compared to that of other cities. This indicates that there is a huge difference in the competitiveness and livability of Islamabad and other cities.

1.       In Economic Dynamism, Islamabad is ranked 1st, Lahore 2nd, Karachi 3rd, Peshawar 4th and Quetta 5th.
2.       In Infrastructure Efficiency, Islamabad is ranked 1st, Quetta 2nd, Lahore 3rd, Karachi 4th and Peshawar 5th.
3.       In Livability Aspects, Islamabad is ranked 1st, Karachi 2nd, Quetta 3rd, Peshawar 4th and Lahore 5th.

According to the report, Pakistan’s population is expected to reach 230 million, from today’s 208 million, by 2030.  The share of the urban population will increase from 36% (2017) to 46.6% (2030). Seventeen cities have populations of more than one million.Urbanization has the potential to drive productivity, with cities as engines of growth. Cities create opportunities and play a key role in creating jobs, enhancing market competition and improving livability. If cities are managed poorly they may become centers of disease, crime, and despair.

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