The Statesman

Humayun represents a new trend in Pakistani politics, one whose time has come. Coming from a non-feudal background and having trained and practiced as an actuary in Canada, he advocates tailored policies aimed at achieving self-sufficiency by empowering the working middle class. In times like the present – when public trust in leadership has broken down – there is a strong need for leaders with a vision and the will to implement it. During his tenure as Minister of State, Chairman, Board of Investment and Federal Minister for Commerce of Pakistan, Humayun’s record reflects a progressive mindset that understands the country’s complex requirements.

 

1997-1999 Minister-of-State

Only one month after he was asked to head the Board of Investment with the status of Minister of State, Humayun presented a new investment policy aimed at utilizing investor potential in the Pakistani market. The policy was very well received in the international investor community, and has often been cited as the best among developing countries.

It served the purpose of opening Pakistan to foreign investors, which eventually led to billions of dollars worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming into Pakistan. It also rendered Humayun worthy of the respect of investor circles both in Pakistan and abroad. His interpersonal skills were vital to successful networking in the world of realpolitik, and proved central to his efforts towards enhancing Pakistan’s trade outreach and enabling the country to escape growing international isolation while bolstering trade simultaneously.

 

2000 – A Blueprint for Pakistan’s Economic Revival

Humayun is one of very few Pakistani politicians to continually interact and engage with the public by proposing progressive policies through the local media. At a time when television has taken centre stage, Humayun is part of a decreasing number who regularly leverage the print medium as well.

He writes extensively, generally focusing on the economy, trade, water, energy, the social sector, and constitutional issues.

 

2002-2007 Tenure as Commerce Minister

Humayun assumed command of the Commerce Ministry when the country was in a precarious situation. While critics in popular media did accede to a “circumstantial windfall” owing to post 9/11 politics, they failed to notice the poor state of the external sector at that time and how export earnings were increased manifold during the five year’s of Humayun’s stewardship.

An unprecedented quantum increase in exports played a crucial role in the increasing growth trajectory attained during Humayun’s time as Federal Minister for Commerce (2002-07). Over this period, receipts from exports grew from $8 billion to $20 billion, which is an increase on a scale never before recorded in our history. Humayun actively participated in WTO trade negotiations, as a result of which the international trade organization selected him – on merit – as a facilitator for its Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December 2005. This was a big honor for a developing nation like Pakistan. He brought about reforms in all aspects of trade and commerce, domestic and international.

 

 

2009 – Pakistan’s Trade Policy and Challenges of WTO

Humayun has always been proactive in his undertakings, especially when dealing with issues concerning the economy. From his early days in politics, he has adopted constant interaction with stakeholders as a central element of his approach. In order to debate avenues of improvement when the economy had started to decelerate, he advocated policy novelty during a presentation at the National Defense University (January 2009).

It measured annual export performance with respect to impact on GDP and other trade polices and its fundamentals. It also explored the mechanics of the World Trade Organization and the economics of trade with India. Most importantly, it indicated where government performance was not conducive to growth as well as debated policy responses.