ADB, Pakistan development cooperation expands

APP70-06 ISLAMABAD: July 06 - Vice President ADB Mr. Wencai Zhang called on Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar. APP

ISLAMABAD, July 6 (APP): The Vice President, Asian Development Bank, Wencai Zhang said Thursday that development cooperation between Pakistan and the bank had expanded during the last few years, resulting in impressive levels of approvals and disbursement of bank’s aid from ADB to the country in FY 2016-17
He was talking to Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar to who he called on here.
He was accompanied by ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan, Ms. Xiaohong Yang, and former Country Director, Werner Liepach.
He said that ADB is interested in learning more about the government’s new initiatives, including the Pakistan Development Fund (PDF) and the Pakistan Infrastructure Bank (PIB), with a view to potentially collaborate on them with the government.
The Vice President said that the ADB’s recent experience of policy-based lending for reforms in Pakistan has been very successful.
According to Finance Ministry statement, both sides agreed to identify further areas where reforms are required, which may be good candidates for policy based lending.
The areas that are being explored in this regard include governance and public sector enterprise reforms. He reiterated ADB’s commitment to supporting development initiatives in Pakistan.
On the occasion, the Finance Minister appreciated the role of ADB as a development partner for Pakistan.
He congratulated the Vice President on ADB’s 50th Anniversary, and appreciated the Vice President’s visit to Pakistan to celebrate the anniversary.
He also appreciated contributions of former Country Director, Werner Liepach, and the progress made in a short time by current Country Director, Ms. Xiaohong Yang.
Dar said that, after having achieved macroeconomic stability, the government was now focused on achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
He said that federal PSDP of Rs1001 for FY 2018 is over three times higher than federal PSDP for FY 2013.
He highlighted that provincial transfers had increased significantly due to increase in tax collections during the last 4 years, and as a result, the provinces are in good fiscal shape.
He said that both ADB and the Government of Pakistan must work together to further strengthen this relationship.
He appreciated ADB’s interest in participating in the government’s initiatives, such as PDF and PIB, which will enable mobilization of resources for further infrastructure projects in the country.
The Finance Minister said that the Government of Pakistan would continue to work closely with development partners on initiatives aimed at improving the quality of lives of the people of Pakistan.
On the conclusion of the meeting, the Finance Minister conveyed his regards to President ADB, Takehiko Nakao.