Global financial organisations commit to support Pakistan’s economic initiatives

Ajay Banga assures full support for Pakistan’s reforms and digitalisation programmes to stabilise economy

WASHINGTON    -   Leading global financial organizations like the World Bank (WB), Asian Devel­opment Bank (ADB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have assured their support for Pakistan’s initiatives aimed at economic stabilisation through structural reforms, digital transforma­tion and privatization efforts.

The assurance came during sidelines meetings of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb, who is leading a Pakistan delegation in the IMF and World Bank-2024 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, with heads and rep­resentatives of the global lending institu­tions. Talking to WB Group President Ajay Banga, the finance minister appreciated the bank’s continuous support to Pakistan in implementing its development agenda, highlighting the government’s commit­ment to advance significant reforms in taxation, energy and privatization sectors. He underscored the importance of digi­tal technologies to enhance governance and public service delivery, and asked the government was keen to work closely with the Bank to pursue the revenue re­form agenda as well as timely investment in critical areas to help improve the do­mestic revenue mobilization. Both sides agreed on the need for a rolling Country Framework Plan for 10 years.

Ajay Banga assured his full support for Pakistan’s reforms and digitalization pro­grams to stabilize the economy. During a meeting with WB Senior Managing Direc­tor Axel Van Trotsenburg, Finance Minis­ter Aurangzeb discussed the bank’s sup­port and engagement with Pakistan. The meeting explored the option of maximiz­ing Regional IDA resources for develop­ment projects in Pakistan including flood-affected areas, agreeing to use the story of effective utilization of Pakistan IDA re­sources more effectively and benefit from the Knowledge Centre of the bank. The finance minister extended the invitation to the President to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. Muhammad Au­rangzeb, in his meeting with President of Asian Development Bank Masatsugu Asakawa,, appreciated ABD’s partnership with Pakistan to support its development agenda and address its emerging needs. The finance minister highlighted the im­portance of ongoing projects and future collaboration, emphasizing the important role ADB’s support played in addressing macroeconomic imbalances, stabiliz­ing the economy, boosting growth and achieving sustainable development.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa re­affirmed the bank’s commitment to sup­port and assist Pakistan and expressed keen interest in working together to promote long-term, sustainable devel­opment in Pakistan. In his meeting with Hela Cheikhrouhou, Regional Vice Presi­dent for MCT, at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the finance minister briefed her on the government’s struc­tural reform agenda focused on taxation, energy and privatization. He appreciated IFC’s efforts in enhancing the investment climate in Pakistan, particularly their sup­port in improving national and provincial ease of doing business rankings and meet­ing universal financial access targets.

Aurangzeb encouraged IFC to scale up its engagement and work with Pakistan in the priority areas of securitization of remittances, mining, airport management and capacity building. Cheikhrouhou ex­pressed her keen interest in furthering IFC’s collaborative efforts, emphasizing the importance of tailored financial solu­tions to support sustainable development in these sectors. Finance Minister Aurang­zeb also met with CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Scott Nathan, highlighting his govern­ment’s commitment to attract investments across various sectors in Pakistan, includ­ing priority areas of agriculture, IT, extrac­tive industry and renewable energy.

He hoped that the DFC would expand its portfolio in Pakistan following the resolution of outstanding issues and tap the significant investment opportuni­ties by leveraging private-sector invest­ments and public-private partnerships. He also requested DFC’s assistance in the areas of debt financing, political risk insurance and capacity building to develop and implement potential DFC projects. Nathan appreciated the prog­ress made by Pakistan under the struc­tural reforms agenda leading to macro-economic stabilization, emphasizing the importance of continuing to build on existing investments, while at the same time pursuing new opportunities. 

On the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank-2024 Spring Meetings, finance minister attended the G-24 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting and held important discussions on sustainable and inclusive economic growth and financial stability. He ap­preciated the ongoing support provided by the IMF and World Bank to Pakistan to stabilize its economy. The minister highlighted that the government under­took difficult but necessary reforms to move the economy in the right direction. He underscored the need for enhanced private sector engagement, terming it crucial for driving economic growth and innovation. Aurangzeb also highlighted the adverse impact of climate change on developing countries, including Pakistan and stressed importance of leveraging Adaptation Fund to implement effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. 

In his meeting with Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia, the finance minister expressed gratitude for Kingdom’s steadfast financial sup­port to Pakistan in times of economic challenges. Both sides exchanged views on deepening economic and investment relations between the two countries. They also explored new avenues for col­laboration to further strengthen trade and investment ties in diverse areas.

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