ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (30 August 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Shixin Chen met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan during his first official visit to the country on 29–30 August, during which he reaffirmed ADB’s support for Pakistan’s development priorities.
During his 2-day visit to Pakistan, Mr. Chen also met with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh; Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Muhammad Hammad Azhar; Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Program Ms. Sania Nishtar; Minister for Energy Mr. Omar Ayub Khan; Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Mr. Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar; and other senior government officials.
“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 prioritize social sector development.” said Mr. Chen. “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.”
ADB and Pakistan are preparing a new 5-year Country Partnership Strategy for 2020 to 2024. Aligned with the government's development vision and ADB’s 2030 Strategy, the new CPS will define development priorities to support Pakistan’s economic transformation programs. The new strategy will also complement efforts by other development partners.
“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,” Mr. Chen said.
During the visit, Mr. Chen visited the Hasan Abdal–Havelian Expressway (E-35) constructed with the support of ADB and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, Pehur Irrigation Project, and a facilitation center of the Benazir Income Support Program, and met with beneficiaries.
Mr. Chen delivered opening remarks at the inaugural session of the first Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) capital market forum held in Islamabad on 29 and 30 August, and also held a breakfast meeting with the heads of key development partners.
ADB has been one of Pakistan’s largest development partners. ADB provided its first loan to Pakistan in 1968 to help the country fund the credit requirements of small and medium-scale industries. Since then, ADB has committed nearly $33 billion in financing to improve Pakistan’s economy, reduce poverty, and achieve the country’s development goals.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.