Asian Development Bank to lend Pakistan up to $10bn

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Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has planned to support Pakistan with indicative lending of up to $10 billion for various development projects and programs during the next five years, the regional lender said on Monday.

ADB held a series of consultations with the Pakistani government on Monday to “formulate a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which will guide ADB’s engagement in the country from 2020 to 2024”, it said.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for the Petroleum Division Nadeem Babar, Secretary for the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed, ADB Senior Advisor for Central and West Asia Muhammad Ehsan Khan, ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang, and ADB’s Director for Regional Cooperation and Operations Safdar Parvez, and representatives of the provincial governments attended the consultations.

The officials discussed several development and economic issues including the implementation of energy sector reforms, and the challenges and priorities the country partnership strategy should address. Provincial government representatives also outlined key features of their development and growth strategies, the ADB said in a press statement.

“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 programs and development projects,” said SAPM Nadeem Babar.

“The consultations today signify the enduring partnership between the government and the people of Pakistan and ADB, and ADB’s vital support to Pakistan in overcoming these development challenges.”

The announcement follows an approval by the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week for a three-year US$6 billion loan to support Pakistan’s economy.

ADB said the five-year strategy would “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 ADB Country Director Xiaohong 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 funds to support Pakistan’s reform and development programs during fiscal year 2019–2020.”

In addition to public sector investments, ADB said it would 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 neighboring countries, particularly through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program,” it said.

More detailed strategic consultations would be held in the provinces with the local governments and other stakeholders including academia, civil society, the private sector, and other development partners in the next stage, it added.

Pakistan became a founding member of ADB in 1966 and since then has received $32 billion in project assistance from the regional lender.