Seminar on Saemaul Undong and its lessons for escape from Rural Poverty in Pakistan held at PMAS-AAUR

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan will be among the top five fast growing economies of the world in 2018 by persisting the current growth momentum. The economy of the country resurged  by moving on positive growth trajectory for the consecutive  last three years due to indigenous factors. The international community is reposing confidence in Pakistan, which is presently in the top eight fast economies of the world.


Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while speaking at  the seminar on Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) and its lessons for escape from Rural Poverty in Pakistan” on May 20, 2016 at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR).


On the occasion, Ambassador of Republic of Korea (South Korea) Song Jong Hwan, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, faculty members and a large number of students were also present.


Federal Minister along with Korean Ambassador and PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor also inaugurated “Semaual Undong Chair" at Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center for Livestock and Agriculture at Arid University Rawalpindi.


Minister said that Saemual Undong movement in South Korea transformed its  rural economy and Pakistan can learn lessons from it to  boost up its own rural economy. Country has huge rural population and needs to develop its rural areas to bring  them at par with the urban centers of the country.


He said that creation of employment opportunities and provision of basis facilities in the rural areas is also priority of government to check the population movement to urban areas.  "Pakistan needs inclusive development rather than creating islands of prosperity, we want an ocean of prosperity which touches all regions and groups." He said. Ahsan Iqbal said that present government is embarked upon implementation of its Vision-2025 to ensure sustainable and inclusive development.


Ahsan Iqbal also highlighted historical growth and development patterns in the country and pointed out that these proved short-lived because of exogenous factors that drove the growth after country entered into geo-strategic alliances. "Now the present government had devised the economic agenda, which is based  on indigenous reform agenda and drivers of growth," he  added.  


Today, Pakistan needs positivity and self-belief  to continue build on the growth momentum Pakistan achieved  in last three years , he emphasized and added that Pakistan  of 2016 is much better than of 2013 after witnessing  significant improvement in economy, energy and security  situation. "This turn around should be reflected in our national psyche. We shouldn't let cynics confuse us who always see glass half empty, he stressed.


Ahsan Iqbal impressed upon the youth to ignore voices of despondency by believing in the success of Pakistan and developing an approach to see the glass half full. He said that South Korean’s Samueal Un Dong Movement provides us the guidelines how positivity and self-belief can make the wonders in a nation's life.


Ambassador of Republic of Korea (South Korea) Song Jong Hwan, in his address, briefed the participant’s abouth the Saemaul Undong (New Village Movememnt) Program which is a community-based rural development programme to escape from poverty and was launched in 1970 by former Korean President Park Chung-Hee.

He said that the early stages of this movement focused on improving the basic living conditions and environment whereas later projects concentrated on building rural infrastructure and increasing community income.


He informed the gathering that Korea is assisting Pakistan in many projects to make it prosperous. He said PAK-Korea Capacity Building Center (PKCBC) at the University will significantly contribute to improve agricultural technologies as well as educational capabilities of PMAS-AAUR with the help of Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).


Korean Ambassador said that Pakistan is an agricultural country there are several opportunities to replicate Saemaul Undong in Pakistan. He recommended Pakistan to adopt the Saemaul Undong (new village movement) which was the first step towards prosperity for Korea and is a proven and practical model for success. He hoped to see Pakistan progresses quickly like the Republic of Korea by benefitting from Saemaul Undong.


Earlier PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his welcome address, said that Korea is now considered as one of the top economies of the world and that was happened because of Korean Leadership vision, people sacrifice, Export drive, education and new village movement. He was the opinion if Pakistan adopt this vision there is no power who can stop its economic development.


He said both countries have strong bilateral relations and hoped that PMAS-AAUR could take lead in disseminating the “Saemaul Undong Movement” not only in the rural areas of Pakistan but can also play a central role in other countries. He expressed his appreciation for continuous support and cooperation of KOICA office and kind patronizing by His Excellency, Dr. Song Jong-Hwan the Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Pakistan.