ADB urged to scale up lending to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Ms. Xiaohong Yang, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB) called on Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs.
Ms. Yang congratulated Azhar on his appointment as Federal Minister. Minister for Economic Affairs acknowledged the ADB’s support for Pakistan and discussed key priority areas and new avenues for future interventions.
The Minister reiterated that the Government was keen to explore innovative financing models and mobilize investment in infrastructure & social sectors. These initiatives will not only provide fiscal space to the government but also help boost economic activities in the country.
He also urged the ADB to scale up its lending to Pakistan including programme lending and project financing.
Ms. Yang said that ADB and Pakistan had successfully met many development challenges. She assured the Minister of the Bank’s support in the priority sectors as identified by the present government. Ms. Yang also briefed the Minister on ADB’s ongoing interventions and pipeline projects.
She updated the Minister about the ADB’s Programme Lending and Special Policy-Based Loan including Trade & Competitiveness Programme, Energy Sector Resilience Programme and Capital Market Reforms Program.
ADB is committed to expanding this partnership to increase prosperity of the people of Pakistan, she added. The Country Director thanked the Minister and reiterated ADB’s commitment to further strengthen and expand its partnership with Pakistan.
Meanwhil, Japanese Ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda called on the Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar in Islamabad on Thursday and assured of full support going forward.
The Minster briefed the Ambassador on the key priorities of the government and structural reforms agenda that is being executed to revive the economy.
The Ambassador congratulated the Minster on his appointment as the Federal Minister and assured of full support going forward. The Minster for Economic Affairs updated the Ambassador on the key priorities of present government and structural reforms agenda that was being executed to revive the economy.
The Minister highlighted that investing in human capital, protecting poor and the vulnerable, completing institutional and governance reforms were high priorities of the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda reiterated commitment of his country to strengthen economic cooperation to support implementation of government’s reform agenda.
The Ambassador in the context of recent high level economic policy dialogue expressed intention of his government to provide financing support for implementation of high value flagship projects in the areas of sanitation & waste management, clean drinking water and human resource development including health & education, technical assistance and skill development for enhancing productivity in Pakistan’s economy. The Ambassador also expressed support for export promotion and the ways & means to expand trade between the two countries.
The Ambassador conveyed keen interest of Japanese companies for investment in Pakistan in the export-oriented and import-substitution industries including agriculture value chains, fisheries, food processing, home electronics, textile and auto part sectors. The Minister thanked the Japanese Ambassador for his support and reiterated full support of the Government of Pakistan for the potential Japanese investors to facilitate their investment in Pakistan. – NNI

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