It is gratifying to know that the Pakistan Society of Development Economists established in 1982 as a forum to discuss economic issues of national and international interest to Pakistan has successfully completed 16 years of fruitful work. Its deliberations have also made a useful contribution to policy formulation in Pakistan. The Society has made possible a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences amongst academics, researchers, and policy-makers. The current meeting of the society is taking place at a time when the global economy is passing through a crucial stage of its history. The current year is the terminal year of the 20th century and provides a bridge between the last and the next millennium; it is a time to reflect on our past achievements and failures, and against this backdrop, chart out our course for the future. During the 20th century, the world has witnessed many revolutionary challenges. Two world wars have taken place, causing colossal human loss; the world has been reshaped many a time, and so have the national boundaries; colonisation reached its zenith and then saw its downfall in the wake of the Second World War; there was the emergence of communism and then its collapse after 70 years; we also saw the twin birth of an international system for financial stability and development in Bretton Woods.