Growth centre set up for steady development


ISLAMABAD: Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday launched the National Growth Centre (NGC) – a project designed to put the country on a steady path of economic development, innovation and prosperity.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Iqbal highlighted the importance of fostering an environment of sustainable development for creating jobs, empowering communities and stimulating economic diversification.

“Our goal is nothing short of positioning Pakistan as a hub of innovation and progress on the global stage,” he remarked.

The main NGC will be based in the planning ministry while its units will also be set up in universities across the country.

“NGC is not merely a physical space but a symbol of commitment to the future and a testament to the unwavering belief in the potential of people and national resources,” Iqbal said.

The minister envisioned that the growth centres would prove to be catalysts for Pakistan’s economic expansion where the industry, academia and government would collaborate seamlessly.

The initiative will also promote ground-breaking research and ensure its practical application so that local communities could flourish alongside national economic growth. In the pursuit of that vision, the minister emphasised, the government would lay the foundation of a thriving ecosystem by focusing on several critical areas including infrastructure development, educational research, industry and entrepreneurship, sustainability and green initiatives, besides local community empowerment.

Saying that modern infrastructure is the backbone of any thriving economy, he announced “our growth centres will be equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class transportation networks, reliable energy sources and cutting-edge communication systems, which will attract both domestic and foreign investment.”

Commenting on education and research, Iqbal underlined that knowledge was the key to progress and the growth centres would house prestigious research institutions and universities, nurturing a culture of innovation and intellectual excellence.

“This will not only retain our brightest minds but will also attract international talent, spurring technological advancements and driving economic growth.”

Discussing the industry and entrepreneurship, the minister elaborated that the growth centres would serve as incubators for start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as provide them with the necessary support, mentorship, and funding to turn their ideas into thriving businesses.

“We will establish Special Economic Zones within these centres, which will enable industries to flourish and trade to thrive.”

Explaining the sustainability and green initiatives, he said that environmental responsibility was a cornerstone of the government’s development strategy. “Our growth centres will be models of sustainable urban planning, integrating green spaces, renewable energy sources and eco-friendly infrastructure to ensure a harmonious co-existence between development and environment.”

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