There is an urgent need for policy makers to adopt a cautious perspective when dealing with the recent revival of protectionism. The changing policy context of global competition requires that emphasis be placed on facilitating broad-based innovation. This is in sharp contrast to the current and past industrial policies that were based on import substitution and sector-picking. This paper briefly outlines Pakistan’s experience with industrial policy over the past 6 decades, and shows how protectionist industrial and trade policy regimes are ineffective with respect to equipping Pakistan to compete globally. The paper also outlines global best practices with reference to designing an enabling industrial policy and suggests policy reforms that are appropriate in the political and global context of Pakistan. There also exist contrary views about the scope and composition of industrial policy even within the government functionaries. There is a dire need for a shared vision and deeper consensus building. Thus this paper aims to highlight the radical contrast in perspectives that exists between the current policy of the ministry of industries and a policy conducive to a prosperous Pakistan.

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