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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Asian Development Bank and Pakistan to strengthen partnership

In a virtual meeting with Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtyar, ADB’s newly-appointed Director General of the Central and West Asia department Yevgeniy Zhukov expressed commitment to work with Pakistan to develop more meaningful projects.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, held a virtual meeting with the new Director-General Central and West Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Yevgeniy Zhukov.

During the meeting, both sides decided to expand cooperation in the areas of trade and competitiveness, social protection, public private partnership, operationalisation of the Exim Bank, and domestic resource mobilisation.

The bank expressed commitment to work closely with the government of Pakistan to develop more meaningful projects aligned with the country’s needs and regulatory frameworks.

The minister acknowledged ADB’s role as a trusted development partner of Pakistan. He appreciated the role that the ABD has played in terms of the quality of the portfolio and support keeping in view the emerging needs of the country that includes ADB’s timely support to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: Global economy badly hit by pandemic: Asian Development Bank

“Despite challenges posed by COVID-19 and worldwide contraction, the key economic indicators are showing encouraging results owing to the government’s strong commitment for the structural reforms,” he said in a statement.

Both sides agreed to hold meetings to discuss ways to strengthen ADB and the country’s development partnership and ensure effectiveness of the ongoing portfolio. In January 2012, ADB had announced a new five-year loan program worth $10 billion to assist Pakistan in restoring economic stability and growth, enhance people’s wellbeing, generate jobs and expand economic opportunities.

This announcement came a day after World Bank declared to support Pakistan’s priority development objectives under an estimated $12 billion loan program starting from the next fiscal year. The framework is in its final stages and would obtain the final approval by May or June.

The Asian Development also announced a $300 million loan for Pakistan to finance the construction of a 300-megawatt hydropower plant near Balakot on Tuesday.

“The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300 million loan to finance the construction of a 300-megawatt hydropower plant that will increase the share of clean energy in Pakistan and improve the country’s energy security,” the lender revealed in a statement.

The plant is going to be constructed on the Kunhar River near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Balakot and will be commissioned by 2027, disclosed ABD. It is going to add 1,143 gigawatt-hours of clean energy to Pakistan’s energy mix and also enhance the energy sector’s reliability and sustainability.

According to ADB Principal Energy Specialist Adnan Tareen, the project is in line with Pakistan’s climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities” and the climate-resilient hydropower plant will improve Pakistan’s clean energy generation while effectively utilizing its vast water resources.