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ADB to provide $7.1 bn financial package to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $7.1bn in financing to help Pakistan achieve inclusive and sustainable growth over the next three years.

This was stated by Wencai Zhang, vice president of the Manila-based lender, who visited the Pakistan from October 4-5. He affirmed ADB’s support for the government of Pakistan’s new development and reform agenda

Mr Zhang met with Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, as well as other government officials and development partners during his visit.

In his meetings, Mr Zhang had congratulated the new administration on assuming office and noted the government’s 100-day agenda that prioritises revitalising economic growth, transforming governance, and revolutionising social services.

“ADB and Pakistan have a more than 50-year history of strong partnership,” said Mr Zhang.

“We are committed to deepening our cooperation with the new government and supporting its development agenda to bring prosperity to the people of Pakistan.”

ADB is focused on ensuring high, sustained, and inclusive growth for Pakistan under the current country partnership strategy (CPS) 2015–2019, and the country operations business plan 2018–2020,

Furthermore, ADB plans to significantly increase the country’s sovereign operations to $7.1 billion over the next three years.

Along with its continued focus on energy, infrastructure development, and institutional reforms, ADB is would assist in education and health sectors, and further strengthen social safety net through income support program.

Mr Zhang noted the country’s economic growth momentum in recent years, driven by domestic demand and improvements in security, energy supply, and public infrastructure projects. However, the widening current account and fiscal deficits are key challenges to the economy.

He stressed the importance of economic stability and structural reforms, and offered ADB’s support in job creation and exports, private sector development, and institution reforms.

The ADB has committed over $32 billion in project and technical assistance to Pakistan as of September 30, 2018.

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