Lahore, October 31, 2014 (PPI-OT): Greater private sector participation is a pre-requisite to overcome development challenges and put the country to the path to high sustained growth. This was stated by the Head for Pakistan Lerner Liepach while talking to the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
ADB Chief Economist Sharad Bhandari, Director Najma Minhas, former LCCI Presidents Mian Muzaffar Ali, Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry and former Vice President Sikandar M. Khan were also present on the occasion.
Lerner Liepach stressed the need for more resources for investment, domestic and FDI particularly in export-oriented sectors through higher productivity and competitiveness, more diversification of economy and exports.
Briefing about Country Partnership Strategy 2015-2019, he said that the strategy would focus on infrastructure development with investments, sector reforms, capacity development, institutional reforms for resource mobilization, private sector participation and public service delivery.
He said that although Asian Development Bank is extending assistance to fulfil the enormous infrastructure needs of Pakistan but substantial resuls can be achieved if other investors from private sector can co-finance the big infrastructure projects with ADB.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz appreciated the initiative taken by ADB for Pakistan with regard to providing assistance especially through Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2009-2013 which has expired. He said that it is vital to continue this partnership. He said that it is a good omen that Asian Development Bank is ready to launch CPS 2015-2019.
It has been learnt that recently expired CPS was rated less than successful but by way of plugging the gaps, the rating can be improved, LCCI President said. Ijaz A. Mumtaz suggested that periodical evaluation of projects should be done in order to minimize the chances of failures. Similarly, there must be some performance review committees comprising members from public and private sectors who may further assist in timely implementation of policy matters.
He said that priority areas for ADB assistance are of greatest importance for Pakistan’s survival as well as for its future. He said that ongoing investment and reforms in energy and infrastructure have started showing some positive results but still there is a lot be done.
LCCI President said that ADB’s assistance in reforms to strengthen governance and promote structural transformation has contributed to a great deal in addressing the root cause of under-performing system. Its key lies in better public service delivery. He said that present scenario demands multi-pronged approach, therefore, we have to focus at one hand on modernizing agriculture sector and on the other hand on bringing improvement in areas like transportation and urban development.
He said that macroeconomic stability, political harmony, good governance, productive human resource and robust infrastructure etc. can lay a solid foundation to tread towards attaining economic stability and becoming a better nation in the region.
He said that it is high time to fully exploit the untapped potential of being strategically located between Central and South Asia. We need to be fully prepared to reap the trickle down benefits of bordering with two giant economies namely China and India.
LCCI President said that Asian Development Bank has played a significant role in the development of Pakistan’s economy and hope that ADB’s interest in our country will continue on an expanded scale.
He said that we value our relation with the Asian Development Bank Missions as they give us a broader view of the assistance provided by ADB for Pakistan’s economic growth.
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Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan