The World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, discussed a Development Policy Credit to promote economic reforms in Pakistan as he began a two-day visit to South Asia’s second-biggest economy which has back on a growth trajectory after years of near stagnation.
In his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Feb. 9, Mr. Kim praised the government for stabilizing the economy which remained on average 3 percent growth margin between most parts of the 2008-2013, only returning to a growth path in 2014.
The economy is expected to grow around 4.5 percent this financial year, though the government is aiming for higher margins.
In a statement by the Bank, Mr. Kim said he had discussed in meetings with the prime minister and finance minister about the importance of pressing forward with reforms that would unlock the country’s potential. As part of the World Bank’s continued support to the country, there was discussion of a Development Policy Credit to promote economic reforms, the statement said.
“Now is the moment for Pakistan to step up to a higher level of growth and opportunity for all its people,” said Kim.
On his first day, Kim participated in a State Bank of Pakistan launch event for WBG support to Pakistan’s financial inclusion reform agenda, “Pakistan’s Path towards Universal Financial Access.” He also attended a panel discussion on “Managing Displaced Populations” and learnt how the country managed a large Afghan refugee population.
“There is much the world can learn from Pakistan, which has for decades hosted refugees from other countries or had to cope with temporarily displaced people within its own borders,” said Kim. “We are committed to support the Government of Pakistan in repatriating the crisis affected displaced people through the newly effective cash transfer project.”
Kim will meet private sector representatives, students, and the provincial leadership of Sindh.
The World Bank’s program in Pakistan is governed by its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) agreed with the government. The World Bank Pakistan portfolio has 26 investment lending projects under implementation with a total net commitment of $4.99 billion.
To date, the Bank has committed over $5.6 billion in Pakistan, including $1.2 billion during the 2015 fiscal year. IFC’s advisory services program in Pakistan is one of its largest in the region, with 13 active projects and a funding commitment of over $20 million