Global financial giants back Pakistan’s economic reforms

WB, ADB, and IFC affirm support, highlight international confidence in economic agenda

APP April 18, 2024
“Businesses are perturbed by the financial crisis and demand to know the strategy being applied by the economic managers of the country. They have brought the country to near bankruptcy,” said UNISAME President Zulfikar Thaver. PHOTO: file


Leading global financial organisations like the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have pledged their support for Pakistan’s economic stabilisation efforts through structural reforms, digital transformation, and privatisation.

During sideline meetings at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank-2024 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb led a Pakistan delegation and engaged with heads and representatives of these global lending institutions.

In discussions with WB Group President Ajay Banga, the finance minister lauded the bank’s consistent support for Pakistan’s development agenda. He reiterated the government’s commitment to significant reforms in taxation, energy, and privatisation sectors and stressed the importance of digital technologies for governance enhancement and public service delivery. Both sides agreed on the necessity of a ten-year rolling Country Framework Plan.

In a meeting with WB Senior Managing Director Axel Van Trotsenburg, Aurangzeb explored options to maximise Regional IDA resources for development projects in Pakistan, including flood-affected areas.

The finance minister also met with Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa, expressing appreciation for ADB’s partnership in supporting Pakistan’s development agenda. They discussed ongoing projects and future collaboration, with Asakawa reaffirming ADB’s commitment to sustainable development in Pakistan. He extended an invitation to the president to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

At a meeting with IFC Regional Vice President Hela Cheikhrouhou, the finance minister discussed structural reform agendas focused on taxation, energy, and privatisation. Aurangzeb encouraged IFC to scale up its engagement and work with Pakistan in the priority areas of securitisation of remittances, mining, airport management and capacity building.

In discussions with CEO of US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Scott Nathan, Aurangzeb highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to attract investments across various sectors, seeking assistance in debt financing, political risk insurance, and capacity building for potential DFC projects.

Additionally, Aurangzeb attended the G-24 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, highlighting the importance of private sector engagement for economic growth and innovation. He underscored Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate-induced disasters and stressed the need for developed countries to fulfil financial commitments and provide assistance for climate adaptation.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2024.

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