International observers of Pakistan often perceive the country in terms of its challenges; and, indeed, there are many. South Asia's second-largest economy is ranked 144th in the World Bank’s Doing Business index and faces a host of pressing issues, from flare-ups of insecurity, to power supply disruptions, to a shortage of financing options in underdeveloped regions.
To balance this one-sided perspective, I frequently invoke our country's boundless potential. Pakistan is in a prime location on the East-West trade routes. It also has a large and youthful population — roughly 60% of our 196 million-strong country is under 25. Properly exploited, this youth bulge could support years of solid economic growth and transform the country into a trading powerhouse.
When it comes to trade, Pakistan has significant room to grow. Despite a doubledigit growth in container volumes over the past five years, our total international trade in the 2015-16 period was a mere US$65 billion. As the country develops, this value will certainly increase. As it does, Pakistan will need the right supporting infrastructure in place. Here, Hutchison Ports Pakistan is already playing an important role.