ADB vice president meets PM Imran, pledges $7bn for development projects

August 30, 2019

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Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan meets ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen (second from right). — Photo courtesy ADB website
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan meets ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen (second from right). — Photo courtesy ADB website

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Shixin Chen, who is on his first official two-day visit to Pakistan, met Prime Minister Imran Khan and "reaffirmed ADB’s support for Pakistan’s development priorities", a press statement issued by the bank said on Friday.

The meeting, held on Thursday, was also attended by other ADB and government officials.

The press statement revealed that ADB plans to provide $7 billion to Pakistan for "various development projects and policy-based programmes" over the next three years.

“ADB plans to provide Pakistan about $7 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects and policy-based programs during the next three years under its country operations business plan 2020–2022, aimed at developing the country’s social protection, urban services, energy security, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism. This will help spur inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” the press release quoted Chen as saying.

According to the statement, ADB is also planning to start a five-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) from 2020 to 2024. The CPS will be in line with the government's economic development programme as well as ADB’s 2030 Strategy.

"The new CPS will define development priorities to support Pakistan’s economic transformation programmes. The new strategy will also complement efforts by other development partners," the statement read.

"ADB has an enduring development partnership with Pakistan. Over the last five decades, Pakistan and ADB have worked together to develop the country’s key infrastructure, promote exports and private sector efficiency, reform public sector management, develop the country’s financial market, improve urban services, provide emergency assistance, and prioritise social sector development," Chen said.

"ADB is committed to support the government’s reform agenda to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, develop key infrastructure, strengthen regional cooperation, attract investments, and promote industry and the private sector," the ADB vice president said further.

During his visit, Chen also met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar and other government officials.

Chen also visited the Hassanabdal-Havelian Motorway (E-35) — that was constructed with the assistance provided by ADB and United Kingdom's Department for International Development. He also visited Pehur Irrigation Project, which is underway in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is being funded by ADB.