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October 22, 2019

Pakistan advised ‘optimal use’ of World Bank’s resources

Business

October 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has advised Pakistan to ensure ‘optimal’ use of the bank’s financial assistances and assured the country of continued support to economic development, a government statement said on Monday.

World Bank Managing Director Axel Van Trotsenburg said this during a meeting with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh in Washington. Trotsenburg said Pakistan is among the World Bank’s largest partners and beneficiaries of the International Development Association.

“Pakistan should make optimal use of available World Bank resources,” the statement quoted him as saying. Trotsenburg assured the World Bank’s continued support to Pakistan’s development efforts.

Shaikh highlighted the government’s focus on expediting speedy rollout of the World Bank pipeline of projects and actions being taken in this regard. PM adviser is presently leading a delegation to attend the annual meetings of International Monetary Fund (IMF) / World Bank 2019. The delegation held a series of meetings with heads of various global financial institutions and business leaders to apprise them of the overall state of economy in Pakistan.

The multilateral lenders, including Asian Development Bank and World Bank, resumed policy lending for Pakistan after the country reached a loan deal with the IMF. The $6 billion extended fund facility from the Fund envisages support to structural reforms process in Pakistan that struggled to stabilise the crouching economy. The growth hit a nine-year low of 3.3 percent in the last fiscal year of 2018/19.

Last month, ADB approved around 70 percent increase in its loan quota for Pakistan to $7.1 billion for the next three years to help the country meet its development goals in various economic sectors.

Manila-based lender previously earmarked $4.2 billion under its country operation business plan 2020-2022. In a separate meeting, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and the Pakistani delegation had an extensive session with the IMF Managing Director Krsitalina Georgieva and other senior officials of the Fund.

Shaikh congratulated the new managing director on her appointment and gave an overview of the implementation of the IMF program in Pakistan. He said the first quarter results indicated that Pakistan’s economy was on its path to stabilisation. “The reforms initiated under the IMF program were demonstrating positive outcomes,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Georgieva said the IMF recognised that tough decisions were made and implemented to stabilise Pakistan’s economy. She appreciated the commitment of the government and assured continued support of the IMF for the reform process.

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