Vice President of World Bank for the South Asian Region, Ms. Annette Dixon, called on the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, at Punjab House. She was accompanied by the Country Director World Bank, Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan, and other senior officials of the World Bank.
The Finance Minister welcomed Vice President World Bank to Pakistan. The current portfolio of the World Bank in Pakistan, including the status of various ongoing development projects, came under discussion during the meeting. The Finance Minister appreciated the support of the World Bank on various projects, and expressed satisfaction on the progress made so far on the projects.
The Finance Minister highlighted his recent meeting with the President World Bank on the side-lines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, where they had the opportunity to build on the constructive discussions the Finance Minister had held with both President World Bank and Ms. Dixon in Washington D.C. in April 2017.
The Finance Minister highlighted the economic reforms that have been undertaken by the present government with has enabled Pakistan to achieve macroeconomic stability. He acknowledged the support of the World Bank in this regard. He said that the government is now focused on achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. He highlighted that Pakistan achieved GDP growth rate of 5.28% during FY 2016-17, which is a ten-year high.
The Finance Minister said that the government is actively working on energy projects as a top priority, and is aiming to add 10,000 MW of electricity to the system by March 2018, which will facilitate the elimination of load-shedding. The Finance Minister said that budget preparations for the next fiscal year are currently in the process of being finalized.
Ms. Dixon acknowledged the success of the economic reforms implemented by the present government, which is evident from the consistent and positive growth trajectory during the last four years, culminating in the 5.28% GDP growth rate achieved this year. She emphasized that the World Bank is committed to working in partnership with the Government of Pakistan on projects which take the development agenda forward and enable meaningful results. She said that the World Bank is keen to work with the Government of Pakistan to explore further opportunities in the renewable energy sector. She highlighted that the longstanding partnership between Pakistan and the World Bank has strengthened further during recent years.
The Finance Minister said that both parties must strive to further strengthen this relationship in order to take it to the next step. He said that the Government of Pakistan is always ready to cooperate with the World Bank on initiatives that can help improve the quality of lives of the people of Pakistan.
Finance Secretary, Secretary Water & Power, and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Division also attended the meeting.