OBOR to boost trade, market integration: Dar

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APP45-14 BEIJING: May 14 - Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar speaking as panelist with Finance Ministers of UK and Hungry in "One Belt One Road Forum" session on Project financing connectivity theme. APP

BEIJING, May 14 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar
Sunday said the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative had the potential
to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation,
financial integration, trade and the integration of markets.
Speaking as a panelist along with finance ministers of the
United Kingdom and Hungary at the special session of the Belt and Road
Forum on the theme of “Financial Connectivity”, he said the OBOR
provided a unique opportunity to connect countries and achieve higher
growth in the region, according to a finance ministry press release.
Ishaq Dar said regional connectivity, along with economic and
financial integration, was the way forward for a prosperous future for
the Asian region, and for better access to regional and global markets
for Pakistan.
“We are actively engaged and investing in such initiatives,
including OBOR and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation
(CAREC).”
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif viewed regional connectivity
projects as a top priority for the betterment of Pakistan and the
region.
Ishaq Dar said a strong and efficient financial system would
serve as the backbone for the success of OBOR.
Given the diversity of economic conditions, financial systems and
regulatory environments of the countries involved in OBOR, he said,
a well thought-out and systematic approach needed to be adopted to
address the risks and challenges of integrating financial systems.
It was vital for ensuring that the financial systems remained
strong and stable so that they were able to withstand to, enhancing
regional financing connectivity for benefit and prosperity of the
peoples of the region.
“We look forward to working with partner countries in OBOR to
achieve this objective,” he added.
The minister said that in Pakistan, new financing institutions
such as the Pakistan Development Fund (PDF) and Pakistan Infrastructure
Bank (PIB) were coming up.
The PDF, he said, would focus on financing commercially viable,
public sector infrastructure projects, while the PIB was being set up
in partnership with the IFC (International Finance Corportaion) to
focus on enhancing private financing and investment for infrastructure
projects in Pakistan.
On the sidelines of the main event, Ishaq Dar had meetings with
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde,
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed
Al-Jadaan and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun.
He also signed Guidelines on Financing of OBOR along with finance
ministers and representatives of 18 other countries.