ISLAMABAD (APP): Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Shixin Chen during his five-day visit to Pakistan, reiterated ADB’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s economic recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the country’s development agenda.
During his visit, Mr Chen met with Prime Minister Imran Khan, key ministers, and other senior government officials, said a press release issued by the ADB on Saturday.
Mr. Chen discussed ADB’s ongoing and emerging areas of support in meetings with Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tareen; Minister for Economic Affairs and ADB Governor Omar Ayub; Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar; Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam; Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan; and Secretary Benazir Income Support Programme Ismat Tahira among others.
“The people of Pakistan have shown remarkable resilience in the face of COVID-19 and the country’s rapidly building momentum towards economic recovery is testament to this,” said Mr. Chen. “As one of Pakistan’s largest development partners, ADB has taken swift actions to support Pakistan’s vaccination and social protection efforts, and external financing requirements. We will continue to work with the government, private sector, and other partners to further develop green, resilient, and quality infrastructure; enact reforms; and strengthen key sectors vital to the country’s growth.”
Mr. Chen visited the National Power Control Center in Islamabad where he was briefed about the country’s power load management system and its expansion plans under an ADB financing facility. He visited a basic health unit near Islamabad that has been fitted with solar panels under ADB’s Access to Clean Energy Program, which has so far provided solar facilities to over 10,700 schools and more than 700 basic health units in mostly remote, off-grid areas. Mr. Chen also visited the Ehsaas One Window Center in Islamabad for beneficiaries of Pakistan’s flagship social protection program.
Mr. Chen also met Punjab provincial Finance Minister Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakht and Planning and Development Board Chairman M. Abdullah Khan Sumbal among other senior officials. He discussed ADB’s support in strengthening private sector participation with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mian Nauman Kabir.
Since 1966, ADB has committed over $36?billion in loans, grants, and other forms of financing to promote inclusive economic growth in Pakistan and improve the country’s infrastructure, energy and food security, transport networks, and social services. ADB and Pakistan’s country partnership strategy, 2021–2025 focuses on three priorities: improving economic management, building resilience, and boosting competitiveness and private sector development.
ADB’s assistance helps improve macroeconomic management and resilience, and infrastructure and urban sector investments that support rural connectivity and urban services. The bank’s support for public–private partnerships and improved access to finance has boosted competitiveness and private sector development. Going forward, ADB will support an enabling environment for digital transformation through policy improvements and strengthening public institutions and relevant infrastructure.
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