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, according to an official announcement.
ADB and the government held a series of consultations to formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) in Islamabad on Monday. It will guide ADB’s engagement in the country from 2020 to 2024.
The federal and provincial officials participated in the discussions and shared their respective plans. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for the Petroleum Division Nadeem Babar discussed the implementation of reforms in the energy sector.
Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed, ADB Senior Advisor for Central and West Asia Muhammad Ehsan Khan, ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang, and ADB Director for Regional Cooperation and Operations Safdar Parvez also discussed the challenges and 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, said a statement issued by the ADB.
“The new country partnership strategy is being formulated at an important juncture. ADB’s concessionary and result-oriented assistance will strengthen the government’s efforts to address fiscal imbalances through meaningful and robust reform programmes and development projects,” said Babar.
“The consultations today signify the enduring partnership between the government and the people of Pakistan and ADB and the bank’s vital support to Pakistan in overcoming these development challenges,” he said.
The purpose of ADB’s 5-year CPS is to define priorities and to support Pakistan’s development goals. The new strategy will also complement efforts by other development partners.
“ADB’s partnership strategy will be aligned with the government’s development vision and policies and is expected to introduce new approaches to development financing in urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism,” said Yang.
“It will prioritise innovation, analytical support, public–private partnership and the application of new technologies. ADB plans to provide about $2.1 billion out of $3.4 billion in funds to support Pakistan’s reform and development programmes during fiscal year 2019–2020.”
In addition to public sector investments, ADB will continue to increase its private sector operations in Pakistan to stimulate growth and revitalise exports.
The new CPS will also support the roadmap for Pakistan’s economic linkages with its neighbouring countries, particularly through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation programme.