Asian Development Bank pledges $7 billion for development activities in Pakistan

Cash-strapped Pakistan will get about $7 billion in fresh assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB for various development projects over the next three years.

The decision was taken during the meeting between ADB Vice President Shixin Chen and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Thursday, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The ADB plans to provide Pakistan about $7 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects and policy-based programmes during the next three years under the country operations business plan 2020—2022,” Mr. Chen was quoted as saying in the report.

“The funds are aimed at developing the country’s social security, urban services, transport, agriculture and water resources, education, trade, and tourism. This will help spur inclusive and sustainable economic growth, he said.

The Manila-based ADB is also planning to start a five-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS from 2020 to 2024 which will be in line with the Pakistan government’s economic development programme, the report said.

Highlighting the ADB’s relationship with Pakistan, Mr. Chen said that over the last five decades, Pakistan and the ADB have worked together to develop the country’s key infrastructure, promote exports and improve private sector, develop the country’s financial market and improve urban services among other activities.

“The 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,” he said.

Pakistan is facing “significant economic challenges” due to a weak and unbalanced growth and its economy is at a critical juncture where it needs an ambitious and bold set of reforms, according to the IMF, which recently approved a $6 billion bailout package to the country.

Pakistan has also received billions of dollars in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months.

According to the Economic Survey 2018-19, Pakistan’s economy grew at an average rate of 3.29% in fiscal year 2018-19 against an ambitious target of 6.2% in last year’s budget.