World Bank, Pakistan Agree to Implement 10-Year Rolling Framework Plan

The Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb on Tuesday held a meeting with President World Bank Group Ajay Banga in Washington.

Upon initial review of Pakistan’s economy and related policy reforms for improvement, both sides agreed on the need for a rolling Country Framework Plan for 10 years.

President Ajay Banga assured his full support for Pakistan’s reforms and digitalization programs to stabilize the economy. The Foreign Minister extended the invitation to the President to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

Aurangzeb appreciated World Bank’s continuous support to Pakistan to implement its development agenda. He highlighted the government’s commitment to advance significant reforms in taxation, energy and privatization sectors. He underscored the importance of digital technologies to enhance governance and public service delivery. He said that the government was keen to work closely with the Bank to pursue the revenue reform agenda as well as timely investment in critical areas to help improve the domestic revenue mobilization.

Meeting With International Finance Corporation

Aurangzeb also met with Hela Cheikhrouhou, Regional Vice President for MCT, at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Tuesday. The Minister briefed her on the government’s structural reform agenda focused on taxation, energy and privatization. He appreciated IFC’s efforts in enhancing the investment climate in Pakistan, particularly their support in improving national and provincial ease of doing business rankings and meeting universal financial access targets.

He encouraged the IFC to scale up its engagement and work with Pakistan in the priority areas of securitization of remittances, mining, airport management and capacity building. Cheikhrouhou expressed her keen interest in furthering IFC’s collaborative efforts, emphasizing the importance of tailored financial solutions to support sustainable development in these sectors.

Private Sector, Climate Change

Aurangzeb attended the G-24 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington D.C. During the meeting, the Minister engaged in important discussions on sustainable and inclusive economic growth and financial stability. He appreciated the ongoing support provided by the IMF and World Bank to Pakistan to stabilize its economy.

The Minister highlighted that the government undertook difficult but necessary reforms to move the economy in the right direction. He underscored the need for enhanced private sector engagement, terming it crucial for driving economic growth and innovation. He also highlighted the adverse impact of climate change on developing countries, including Pakistan and stressed the importance of leveraging the Adaptation Fund to implement effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.

In his meeting with Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Aurangzeb expressed gratitude for the Kingdom’s steadfast financial support to Pakistan in times of economic challenges. Both sides exchanged views on deepening economic and investment relations between the two countries. They also explored new avenues for collaboration to further strengthen trade and investment ties in diverse areas.

IDA, Investments and New Opportunities

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurngzeb met with Axel Van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director World Bank to discuss World Bank’s ongoing support and engagement with Pakistan. The meeting explored the option of maximizing Regional IDA resources for development projects in Pakistan including flood-affected areas. It was agreed to use the story of effective utilization of Pakistan IDA resources more effectively and benefit from the Knowledge Centre of the Bank.

Aurangzeb also met with Scott Nathan, CEO, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The Minister highlighted government’s commitment to attract investments across various sectors in Pakistan, including priority areas of agriculture, IT, extractive industry and renewable energy. He hoped that DFC would expand its portfolio in Pakistan following the resolution of outstanding issues and tap the significant investment opportunities by leveraging private sector investments and public-private partnerships.

He also requested DFC’s assistance in the areas of debt financing, political risk insurance and capacity building to develop and implement potential DFC projects. Nathan appreciated the progress made by Pakistan under the structural reforms agenda leading to macro-economic stabilization. He emphasized the importance of continuing to build on existing investments, while at the same time pursuing new opportunities.

ADB

Finance Minister, in his meeting with Masatsugu Asakawa, President Asian Development Bank, appreciated ABD’s partnership with Pakistan to support its development agenda and address its emerging needs. The Finance Minister highlighted the importance of ongoing projects and future collaboration, emphasizing the important role ADB’s support played in addressing macro- economic imbalances, stabilizing the economy, boosting growth and achieving sustainable development.

Masatsugu Asakawa, President ADB reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to support and assist Pakistan and expressed keen interest in working together to promote long-term, sustainable development in Pakistan.

Loss and Damage Fund

Aurangzeb spoke at the V20 Ministerial Dialogue XII “Unlocking Growth and Prosperity through Innovations in Climate Finance and Debt”. He highlighted Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate-induced disasters, such as the 2022 floods that affected 33 million people and caused GDP losses of approx. US$ 15.2 billion.

He underscored that developed countries must fulfill their financial commitments and provide additional financing, technology transfer, and capacity-building assistance to developing countries including Pakistan to address the climate challenges. He also underscored Pakistan’s efforts at COP 27 to establish the Loss and Damage Fund and emphasized the need for innovative financial solutions for climate emergencies.

Pak-Turkey Trade

Aurangzeb also met with Türkiye’s Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek. He acknowledged historical, political, defense, cultural, and educational relations between Pakistan and Türkiye. He stated that the current bilateral trade between Pakistan and Türkiye is not commensurate with existing potential. Both sides agreed on the need to deepen cooperation by giving a fresh impetus to bilateral trade and investment and benefit from Turkiye’s experience in power generation and distribution.

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