Pakistan can achieve stronger economic growth in coming years: ADB

1124

ISLAMABAD, July 6 (APP): Vice President of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Wencai Zhang Thursday said that keeping in view the pace
of economic development in Pakistan during recent years, the country
could achieve very strong economic growth in next few years.
“I am very much impressed by the Pakistan government’s efforts
in stabilizing the macroeconomic indicators which have showed
encouraging performance during recent years”, the ADB Vice President
told media who is currently on a three-day visit to Pakistan.
He said the country needed a higher economic growth rate of 7
per cent, which was quite achievable in next few years.
He hoped that the government would further boost its efforts
in deep structural reforms to further consolidate the economic gains
of the country.
Mr Zhang said that political stability was very important
for the economic development in the country.
“We want to see a stable political and economic situation in
the country as it is very important for reforms and development”, he
remarked.
He said the ADB was confident that owing to great potential in
Pakistan, the country would move from current lower middle level
growth to higher level growth in coming days.
Mr Zhang said, during his visit, he met with Chief Minister
Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Finance minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for
Planning, Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif
and discussed with them the current progress of ADB’s funded
projects.
He said he was very impressed by the Punjab Vocation Education
Training Programme to produce skilled labour in the country.
“So far we have been involved heavily in infrastructure and
energy sectors, however, we are looking forward to invest in social
sectors including health and education sectors, water resource
management and capacity building in various sectors to ensure
inclusive growth and balanced development of the country”, he added.
The Vice President said the ADB believed in regional
connectivity, therefore it wanted to support the regional economic
forums and economic corridors including China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC) which was so important for Pakistan’s development.
“Besides supporting infrastructure, energy and transport
sectors, we also support policy and structured level reforms,
corporate reforms and capacity building at center and local
government level”, he remarked.
The ADB, he said was also interested in financing the
railways sector. “Regional connectivity through railway line was the
initial plan of the Bank, however, the Pakistan government was more
interested to receive funding from China under CPEC to link Pakistan
with China and other neighboring countries through railway link”.
However, he said the ADB would support other small railways
projects including the construction of subsidiary railway line along
the main line.
He said the ADB was also supporting clean and renewable energy
projects, such as solar, wind and small and medium hydro power
projects.
To a question, Mr Zhang said annual funding from ADB to
Pakistan could vary depending upon the readiness of projects from $1 billion
to 1.7 billion, however, he hoped that in next few years, the
funding could cross $2 billion.
ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang and former
country director Werner Liepach were also present on the occasion.