Islamabad, June 20, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Vice President of Asian Development Bank, Wencai Zhang had a meeting with Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Monday. Finance Minister welcomed Mr. Zhang on his visit to Pakistan shared with him the details of the current state of national economy. He stated that the economic reforms were on track and had started to pay dividends. Referring to recent upgrade by MSCI, he said that the marked improvement in economic conditions in the country is being acknowledged globally.
He said the Government has presented a budget which will provide stimulus to agriculture and industrial sectors besides encouraging foreign investment. This will all help in achieving the goal of inclusive growth, the Minister said. He added the Government has in focus activation of the Pakistan Macro finance Investment Company in the first quarter of this fiscal year. He also hinted at operationalization of Pakistan Development Fund and invited ADB to participate in the Fund.
The ADB Vice President lauded the economic achievements of the present government and said that the country has undoubtedly made noticeable progress in achieving macro-economic stability. “There is significant increase in forex reserves, inflation is down considerably compared to the situation in early 2013. Given the global situation, the GDP growth is also quite satisfactory”, Zhang added. The ADB Vice Chief who was accompanied by Country Director, Werner Liepach said that financing for reforms in public sector enterprises has been enhanced from USD 150 million to USD 300 million.
He added that ADB was extremely pleased to finance the M-4 Shorkot – Khanewal Section Project and wished to see it completed as early as possible. He assured of ADB’s support for taking measures to revamp the existing transport and trade infrastructure for improved connectivity to steer the process of development in Pakistan.
He evinced keen interest in possible financing in the Pak-China Economic Corridor Project as well as developing connectivity between Gwadar Port and other areas in Pakistan as well as the region. He said Pakistan now needed to focus on attracting foreign investment and enhancing exports to achieve the objective of growth. Wencai added that both sides could identify new areas for possible ADB financing including agriculture and development of ports.
Earlier Finance Minister Dar and ADB Vice President witnessed the signing ceremony between the Government of Pakistan (GOP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a Loan agreement of US $ 100 million for National Motorway M-4 Shorkot – Khanewal Section Project. Department of International Development (DFID), United Kingdom also extended the grant of £ 23,480,000 (US $ 34 million) for the same project. The loan and grant agreement was signed by the Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Mr. Tariq Bajwa and Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Werner E. Liepach.
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