ISLAMABAD: Director World Bank Rachid Benmessaoud, and Country Director Asian Development Bank (ADB), Werner E Liepach Saturday called on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar separately and discussed issues related to project financing and economy.
Rachid Benmessaoud informed the finance minister that World Bank was looking forward to the meeting of its president with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Davos. The World Bank, he said, had a very positive assessment of the Pakistan Government’s reform programme of economy and assured him of the bank’s full support.
While reviewing the ongoing projects, the finance minister underlined the significance of Balance of Payments Support and financing for the Dasu project.
It was agreed that the reassessment of other ongoing projects eligible for International Development Association (IDA) financing would be undertaken to make preparations for availability of IDA under new arrangement.
Rachid said that the Development Policy Loan was on track and work so far done for the authorization was appreciated.
He informed the finance minister that a group of executive directors of World Bank were planning to visit Pakistan in March. In a separate meeting, ADB Country Director Werner E Liepach informed the finance minister that the new Vice President of Asian Development Bank Wencai Zhang, who has recently assumed office plans his first visit to Pakistan on February 11.
During his visit Zhang will hold high level meetings in Pakistan including the prime minister and also sign a $900 million loan agreement for the construction of 1320 MW Jamshsoro Power Project.
Werner also informed the finance minister that a Trade Finance Mission from ADB would be visiting Pakistan by the end of this month to hold talks with the government of Pakistan to explore extending a Trade Finance Facility.
He also said that ADB was also exploring the possibility of financing with Middle East sources together with designing guarantees based fund arrangement.
During the meeting the forthcoming meeting between the President of ADB Jakehiko Nako with Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif in Davos also came under discussion.
Werner also discussed the ADB’s programme of assistance for the next year which includes support to the power sector, transport, communication and development of financial markets.
The finance minister also appreciated the initiative of ADB to send a mission to explore the prospects of extending Trade Facility to Pakistan.
The finance minister while talking to Werner said that the present government had taken a number of steps to stabilize the economy and made considerable progress in addressing macro-economic imbalances.
The recent approval of $ 1.5 billion by ADB for Jamshoro, ISP and power distribution projects will go a long way in strengthening the stabilization process, he added.
The finance minister said as one of the largest development partners of Pakistan, the present government envisages ADB to play bigger role since it plans to begin work on new and important projects like Diamer Basha Dam, Dasu Power Projects etc.
The finance minister said that Pakistan expects ADB to extend its technical and financial expertise in harnessing investments for an ambitious development plan of the present government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Finance, Advisor on Finance Rana Asad Amin and senior officials of the Finance Ministry.