Pakistan expects about $10billion in fresh ADB assistance

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – November 5, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to provide about $10 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects and policy-based programmes, over the next five years under its new country partnership strategy (CPS), ADB vice president (VP) Shixin Chen said on Wednesday.

According to a press release, the economic affairs (EA) minister Khusro Bakhtyar held a virtual meeting with ADB VP Chen.

EA minister Bakhtyar said that the proposed CPS framework is in line with incumbent regime’s priorities and added that the CPS’s greater focus on improving economic management, building resilience and boosting competitiveness and private sector development will allow Pakistan to unleash the growth potential of public-private partnership and help a quicker post COVID-19 (coronavirus) recovery.

The meeting discussed key priorities of the CPS 2021-2025 expected to be considered by ADB’s board of directors (BoD) later this year.

The county operations business plan (2021-2023) and ADB’s ongoing and support for Pakistan’s reform programmes were also discussed.

The ADB VP Chen appreciated the incumbent’s strategy to successfully combat the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

He reiterated ADB’s commitment to support incumbent’s reform agenda and to speed up the economic recovery process.

EA minister Bakhtyar, while appreciating the ADB’s continuous support to Pakistan, assured ADB VP Chen that the incumbent is committed to continue structural reforms in multiple areas of economy, governance and institutions including simplification of decision making for project approval and implementation and regular portfolio review of foreign aided projects.

A national coordination committee stands constituted to ensure timely implementation and completion of projects and smooth disbursement of loan and grant components.

He suggested new areas for ADB’s assistance including support for public private partnership; strengthening food security infrastructure, supply chains, developing forecast mechanism for demand and supply and enhancing agro-productivity; and operationalisation of the Exim Bank to effectively provide credit, guarantee and insurance products to boost the country’s trade volume.

The ADB VP Chen and EA minister Bakhtyar agreed to continue discussing ways to deepen ADB and Pakistan’s development partnership and ensure effectiveness of the ongoing portfolio.

The EA ministry secretary Noor Ahmed and the ADB country director (CD) Xiaohong Yang also joined the meeting.