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Pakistani ministers meet World Bank managing director

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ISLAMABAD: A high-level Pakistani delegation comprising Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar and other senior officials held a meeting with Axel van Trotsenburg, managing director of the World Bank on the sidelines of the WBG/IMF annual meetings 2021, a statement received here said.

Omar Ayub Khan appreciated the World Bank’s continued support to Pakistan. He said 58 World Bank-funded projects worth $13 billion are under implementation in the priority development areas, including economic reforms, finance, energy, communication, education, health and social protection across the country.

In 2020/21, the government of Pakistan signed 16 projects, amounting to $3.64 billion with the World Bank, he said and appreciated the World Bank for its global initiative, amounting to $12 billion to help the developing countries procure the Covid-19 vaccines.

Under the WB’s financing of $153 million, Pakistan is procuring Pfizer vaccine for its citizens, he said.

The minister emphasised on the importance of enhanced connectivity through improved roads and digital networks. Rural roads connectivity is one of the key components for rural development. An efficient and reliable road network promotes access to social services such as health facilities and educational institutions and enhanced economic opportunities through increased agricultural income and employment, especially in the rural and remote areas, he added.

During the meeting, Pakistan’s recent economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic was also appreciated.

It was further highlighted that Pakistan’s exports, especially textile and IT sectors, are performing well, which would help achieve the export target for 2021/22.

Trotsenburg commended the efforts of the government of Pakistan for economic reforms.

The World Bank team appreciated the government’s efforts for the energy sector reforms, including the circular debt management and integrated generation capacity expansion plan.

Trotsenburg also appreciated the efforts of the government of Pakistan for supporting evacuation of the World Bank staff from Kabul. Both sides agreed to enhance technical and financial cooperation for socioeconomic development in line with the government of Pakistan’s development priorities.

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