DAVOS: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday held marathon meetings with international agency leaders, business executives and political counterparts to discuss bilateral economic cooperation on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

PM Khan met with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to deepen bilateral ties between the two countries with focus on enhancing trade and investment.

Referring to recent improvements in Pakistan’s rankings by different rating agencies, PM Khan invited Singaporean businessmen to invest in the country.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) President Kristalina Georgieva also called upon PM Khan and discussed the ongoing reforms package under IMF’s $6 billion extended fund facility.

An IMF review mission is scheduled to visit Islamabad in February 3-14 to consult with the country’s officials on the extended fund facility.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa also called on PM Khan and his Adviser Abdul Hafeez.

The adviser said that Pakistan looked forward to strengthen partnership with the ADB under Asakawa’s leadership.

Talking to media persons at the sidelines of the WEF annual meeting, he said that PM Khan had an excellent meeting with the ADB president and thanked the bank for supporting Pakistan through various financing tools, which he said have helped turn around the country’s economy.

We are thankful to the ADB for the special financing tools they have adopted to support Pakistan and this is an excellent partnership; and they have contributed in a significant way in a turnaround our economy, adviser added.

Speaking on the occasion, ADB President Asakawa said that Pakistan had been a very good partner for last fifty years and was also one of the founding members of the bank.

He said that after the announcement of the IMF package, the ADB extended support to the government on monetary policy, fiscal policy and taxation issues. He informed the PM’s team that the ADB is willing to support government’s Pakistan Ehsas programme, which was targeted to support the poor.

Asakawa said he would visit Pakistan to discuss future opportunities.

He also met with the Siemens Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser and invited the company to introduce high technology skills training programmes for Pakistani engineers under the “Hunarmand Jawan” (Skills for All) programme.

Appreciating Siemens’ investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, PM Khan said skill development of youth was among top priorities of the government.

PM Commerce Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador at Large on Investments Ali Jehangir Siddiqui were also present.

PM Khan also emphasised that skills development would ultimately lead to employment generation and economic growth, an area where Siemens’ cooperation would prove to be helpful.

He invited Siemens to support Pakistani universities and extended an invitation to the CEO to visit the country.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020