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April 19, 2019

World Bank’s Investment Arm Keen to Raise Portfolio in Pakistan

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an investment arm of the World Bank, has expressed interest in engaging the private sector in Pakistan and explore opportunities to facilitate foreign direct investment in the country.

MIGA’s Chief Executive Keiko Honda met Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad and discussed areas where the agency can introduce its products.

MIGA works to promote FDI in developing countries to help support economic growth. It provides political risk insurance guarantees to private sector investors and lenders. MIGA’s  guarantees protect investments against-non-commercial risks and can help investors obtain access to funding sources with improved financial terms and conditions.

Since its inception in 1988, MIGA has issued more than $28 billion in political risk insurance for projects in a wide variety of sectors.

Dar gave an overview of Pakistan’s current economic profile and said that South Asia’s second-biggest economy has made visible strides since the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took over in 2013.

Pakistan’s foreign reserves are at an all-time high of $23 billion and revenue collection has posted 60 percent increase when compared with three years ago. Economic growth of 4.7 percent achieved in the previous financial year that ended June 30 is the highest in the last 8 years.

Recognizing progress in recent years, international rating institutions have raised the country’s ratings. Recently US-based provider of equity, fixed income and hedge fund stock market indexes upgraded Pakistan’s status to that of the Emerging Markets from Frontier Markets.

The relocation of status, which Pakistan had enjoyed in2008, will help attract foreign investment in the country which has been plagued in recent years by al Qaeda-linked terrorism.

Ms. Honda said that MIGA is supporting a number of projects in Pakistan and is deeply interested to expand the portfolio. She said that it was the first ever visit of MIGA CEO to Pakistan, which is an indication of the increasing interest the Agency in Pakistan.

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