The World Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva is in Pakistan on the first leg of her first country visits to South Asia and received an update on the country’s economy which has shown remarkable turnaround in recent years.
In a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, she said that in view of the momentum in growth and economic progress, the World will continue to assist the South Asian country with the consideration of a bigger package, including the IDA and IBRD assistance.
She was also appreciative of the extension of the Tarbela Dam project, the biggest source of country’s electricity production. She said the Bank looks forward to working with the government on similar projects.
She appreciated Tarbela extension project and said that World Bank will continue to look forward to working with the GOP on similar projects.
Pakistan has won accolades from the international donor agencies, including the IMF, for the turnaround in the economy that saw the GDP growth of 4.7 percent in the last fiscal year, and is estimated to grow by 5.2 percent in the current fiscal ending June 30.
A major boost to the South Asia’s second-biggest economy is the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor which has spurred investment in the infrastructure structure and has a ripple effects on the other sectors of the economy.
Dar informed the World Bank official that the private sector had a major involvement in CPEC projects and out of US $ 46 billion, over US $ 30 billion was meant for private sector investment whereas the rest was for public sector financing in infrastructure including highways, energy sector and railways etc.
He stated that IFC participation in private sector projects was to be complemented by the Government to the extent of 20% equity. IFC was to develop Business Plans for such project financing, he added.
Dar also suggested 50 % increase in IDA allocation for Pakistan as the current project profile in infrastructure, energy, social protection and regional connectivity projects was almost exhausted, from the IDA-17 pipeline.