ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has planned to support Pakistan with indicative lending of up to $10 billion for various development projects and programmes during the next five years.
The bank would provide about $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion funds to support Pakistan’s reform and development programmes during fiscal year 2019 to 2020, an ADB press release issued here Monday said.
The ADB, in addition to the public sector investments, would also continue to increase its private sector operations in Pakistan to stimulate growth and revitalize exports.
It said the bank held a series of country consultations to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which would guide ADB’s engagement in Pakistan from 2020 to 2024.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for the Petroleum Division Nadeem Babar discussed the implementation of energy sector reforms.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed, ADB Senior Adviser for Central and West Asia Muhammad Ehsan Khan, ADB Country Director for Pakistan Ms Xiaohong Yang and ADB’s Director for Regional Cooperation and Operations Safdar Parvez also discussed challenges and the priorities that the country partnership strategy should address.
Representatives of the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan outlined key features of their development and growth strategies.
Speaking on the occasion, Nadeem Babar said the new country partnership strategy was being formulated at an important juncture. The ADB’s concessionary and result-oriented assistance would strengthen the government’s efforts to address fiscal imbalances through meaningful and robust reform programs and development projects, he added.
He said the consultations signified the enduring partnership between the government and the people of Pakistan and the ADB, and the ADB’s vital support to Pakistan in overcoming the development challenges.
The purpose of ADB’s 5-year CPS was to define priorities and to support Pakistan’s development goals. The new strategy will also complement efforts by other development partners, he added.
ADB Country Director for Pakistan Ms Yang said the ADB’s partnership strategy would be aligned with the government’s development vision and policies, and was expected to introduce new approaches to development financing in urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism.
She said it would prioritize innovation, analytical support, public–private partnership, and the application of new technologies.
The new CPS, she added, would also support the roadmap for Pakistan’s economic linkages with its neighbouring countries, particularly through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme. In the next stage, more detailed strategic consultation meetings will be held in the provinces with the local governments and other stakeholders including academia, civil society, the private sector, and other development partners.
In addition to public sector investments, the ADB would continue to increase its private sector operations in Pakistan to stimulate growth and revitalize exports, she said.
Pakistan became a founding member of the ADB in 1966 and since then has received $32 billion in project assistance. The country has since been working with the ADB to strengthen its key infrastructure, social services, and economic growth.