Pakistan and Republic of Korea have signed a framework agreement that will enable Islamabad to seek financing from Korean Exim Bank for its energy and development projects.
The agreement was signed in Islamabad on Oct. 2. Korean Ambassador Dr. Song Jong-Hwan said that Korea would extend all possible cooperation in economic development of Pakistan.
Pakistan is seeking investment in power projects to boost supplies and meet the shortfall which is badly hurting its industry. The country is currently working on a short-term plan to set up LNG-fired plants to produce 3600 megawatts.
The U.S. Exim Bank also said recently that it would consider providing financing for the LNG-fired power projects if the American company General Electric approached it.
Many investors, including GE, have attended briefings on the government’s plan of setting up LNG-fired power plants. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recently directed authorities to speed up work on the proposed power plants. He also approved construction of second LNG terminal to ensure smooth supplies.
Pakistan has been able to attract investment after an IMF program helped stem a downslide in economy and put it back on an upward trajectory. Rating Agencies including Standard and Poor and Moody’s have raised Pakistan’s economic outlook from negative to positive this year.
The agreement with Korea was signed days after the IMF’s Executive Board in a meeting on Sept. 28 approved the release of $504.8 million tranche of a loan Pakistan secured in 2013 to prevent a balance of payment crisis. IMF welcomed efforts by the Pakistan government to improve the country’s financial position.
The Korean Exim Bank, under the Framework Arrangement, will provide assistance for various projects in Hydropower, Road Infrastructure, Improvement of Power distribution system, Information Technology and Health Sector.