Pak largest borrower as ADB provides $10.1b loans in 2007

ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $10.1 billion in loans in 2007, a 37 per cent increase over the previous year, in response to demands for development assistance, according to ADB's 2007 Annual Report. "It was a very busy, productive, and exciting year for ADB," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said in the report, which was released ahead of ADB's 41st Annual Meeting to be held 3-6 May in Madrid, Spain. "Our annual loan approvals grew from $7.4 billion in 2006 to $10.1 billion in 2007, clearly demonstrating the growing demand for ADB assistance in all parts of the region." The 2007 amount is the highest in ADB's 41-year history, the report said. Pakistan was the largest borrower with $2.0 billion, or 20 per cent of the total loans ADB extended last year. The operational sector with the biggest share of loans was transport and communications with $3.9 billion, or 39 per cent of total loans, more than double the amount in 2006. Loans with government guarantees last year totaled $9.2 billion for 61 projects. Of this amount, $7.4 billion came from the ordinary capital resources of ADB, while the balance was sourced from the concessional Asian Development Fund. ADB approved a further $672.7 million of assistance in grants in 2007, up 25 per cent from the previous year. Of the total, $519.3 million came from ADF IX; $30.0 million from the Pakistan Earthquake Fund; and $123.4 million from external sources with full or partial administration by ADB. A total of 242 technical assistance projects were approved worth $243.4 million, all of which were also provided as grants. Recognizing the important role of the private sector in generating jobs and economic growth, ADB approved $760.3 million for 19 non-sovereign loans to the private sector and $105.0 million for three non-sovereign loans to the public sector. On project performance last year, ADB showed an improvement in disbursement to $6.8 billion from $5.7 billion in 2006. Of the total, $5.2 billion were disbursements from ordinary capital resources while ADF disbursements accounted for the balance.

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