24th Annual General Meeting and Conference, The Pakistan Society of Development Economists.
Article Type: Conference news
Subject: Trade and professional associations (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Economists (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Author: Arif, G.M.
Pub Date: 12/22/2008
Publication: Name: Pakistan Development Review Publisher: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business, international; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Reproduced with permission of the Publications Division, Pakistan Institute of Development Economies, Islamabad, Pakistan. ISSN: 0030-9729
Issue: Date: Winter, 2008 Source Volume: 47 Source Issue: 4
Product: Product Code: 8620000 Professional Membership Assns; 8525201 Economists NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations; 54172 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations
Accession Number: 228122194
Full Text: Honourable Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Makhdoom Shahbuddin, Federal Minister and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, President of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) and Vice-Chancellor Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Dr Rashid Amjad, ministers, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 24th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists. I particularly welcome the guests who have come from different parts of the country and abroad. Surely your knowledge and experience will enrich the proceedings of the conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, which was established in 1982, is the only Pakistani professional association of economists, and related social scientists that provides an institutional framework for research development. Through the annual conferences, it has also provided the forum to promote dialogue between academics and researchers and policy-makers on important economic and social issues. Currently, the society has about 400 members from different parts of the world. The support and active participation of these members in the PSDE Annual General Meetings and Conferences has been vital for maintaining high standards in delivering lectures, panel discussions and presentation of research papers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, during the last 23 conferences about 1000 papers have been presented in different sessions on critical themes and issues. Most of these papers have been published in the proceeding issues of The Pakistan Development Review, the prestigious international journal of PIDE. The great interest of academicians and researchers and the hard work of PIDE staff have provided the critical impetus to keep the society vibrant and maintain the high standards.

As you know, this year the theme of the 24th Annual General Meeting and Conference is: "Economic Sustainability in a Globalised World". Agricultural development and food security, global financial crisis, energy security and inclusive growth are the main sub-themes for this year's conference.

I am pleased to report that this year, in response to our call for papers, one hundred and seven papers were submitted for review. This submission is 50 percent higher than the number of papers submitted last year. These papers were reviewed by focusing on their quality in terms of hypotheses developed, methodologies used and presentation of the major findings. After the review, 33 papers have been selected for presentation. These papers will be presented in nine technical sessions of this conference. During these sessions we look forward to a fruitful interaction between researchers, policy-makers and the civil society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Pakistan Society of Development Economists has the tradition to invite renowned scholars to deliver lectures. I am pleased to report that this year we have five such lectures. Professor Yu Yongding, Director and Senior Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Beijing, China, will deliver the prestigious Quaid-i-Azam Lecture and indeed I should mention that we have for the first time a Professor from China delivering one of our invited lectures. We are also honoured that Professor John W. Mellor, the internationally recognised authority on agriculture economics and former Director-General of the International Food Policy Research Institute will deliver the Allama Iqbal Lecture; Professor Siddiqur Rahman Osmani of Ulster University UK who has worked with the Noble Laureate Amartya Sen extensively on poverty, nutrition and development issues, will deliver the Mahbubul Haq Lecture, and Professor Hafiz A. Pasha, Dean, Social Sciences, Beaconhouse National University, will deliver the A. R. Kemal Lecture in memory and honour of our past President Dr A. R. Kemal who left us last year.

This year we have started a new invited lecture series after the renowned economist and founding Joint Director of PIDE Professor Gustav Ranis whose contribution to development economics is internationally recognised. We all remember the pioneering work by Fei and Ranis on planning methodology for Pakistan's Second Five-Year Plan. Professor Ranis played a major role in the setting up of PIDE in its formative years. We are grateful to Dr Parvez Hasan, former Chief Economist, West Pakistan and later World Bank Director and Chief Economist for East Asia, who will deliver this lecture.

Ladies and Gentlemen, during the three days of the conference, three panel discussions have also been organised revolving around critical sub-themes of the conference: food security, financial crisis and energy security. These are cross-cutting themes. We have, therefore, invited experts from different areas as panelists to participate in these discussions.

Following our tradition of the last two years, I am pleased to report that we have invited 60 students as participants from major universities of the country this year as well. This is to enhance their understanding of economic and social issues and also to give them an opportunity to interact with eminent scholars.

In the end, I would like to congratulate and thank the staff of PIDE for their hard work and support to organise this conference. Thanks to all the sponsors particularly Department for International Development (DFID), Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). My special thanks to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Minister for Planning and Development, and the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and all of you for responding positively to our invitation.

Thank you all.

G. M. Arif

Secretary, PSDE

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.
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