ADB okays sign $500 for Pak

Hammad Azhar acknowledges ADB’s support for Pakistan


The Government of Pakistan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a trade and competitiveness programme (Subprogram – 1) amounting to USD 500 million on Wednesday. Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar witnessed the signing of the loan agreement. Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement.
This programme will help Pakistan to promote macroeconomic stability, improve export performance, and boost economic growth by facilitating improved trade competitiveness. Under the programme, the government has introduced important tariff and tax-related policy reforms to support Pakistan’s export sector and improve its competitiveness internationally and strengthen key institutions involved in facilitating trade, including accreditation bodies Export-Import Bank of Pakistan (EXIMBP) and the National Single Window (NSW).
Hammad Azhar acknowledged ADB’s support for Pakistan. He highlighted that Pakistan’s exports are concentrated in less sophisticated and lower value-added products and lack diversification and innovations. The minister said that ADB’s policy-based lending will not only strengthen the foreign exchange reserves but will also provide fiscal space to the government and boost economic activities in the country.
He reiterated that the government is fully committed to improving governance, bringing economic reforms and achieving sustainable development. The government aims to put Pakistan’s economy on the path of sustainable and balanced growth and increase per capita income, he added.
The minister emphasized ADB should further scale up its assistance to Pakistan both for programme lending and project financing. Xiaohong Yang said ADB is one of the leading development partners of Pakistan. ADB fully supports the government’s development vision and policies. She said that ADB is providing its support for policy reforms and project financing in the key priority areas such as energy, road, social sector, water & irrigation and urban services.
Later ADB in a statement said that ADB approved a $500 million policy-based loan for Pakistan to support the country’s reforms to improve trade competitiveness and export. The bank has also approved a $750,000 technical assistance package to support the preparation and implementation of the program. ADB has a 53-year history of strong partnership with Pakistan and we are pleased to be in a position to provide this important support for the country’s economic reform program, said ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen.
The Trade and Competitiveness Program focuses on addressing structural issues obstructing Pakistan’s export competitiveness through reforms in the areas of tax and tariff rationalization, as well as institutional strengthening. Moving forward, ADB is committed to providing wide-ranging support to strengthen Pakistan’s economy and reduce the risk of external economic shocks. Chen added.
Supported by the International Monetary Fund, ADB, and other development partners, Pakistan has now committed to a range of structural reforms to the country’s trade environment to improve its export performance, reduce the current account deficit, and drive economic growth.

Trade is an important pillar in Pakistan’s overarching development objective to foster economic stability and sustainable high growth, said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Mr. Werner Liepach.
He added that the Trade and Competitiveness Program will help define and implement key reforms to help tackle these development challenges and bring livelihood opportunities to the people of Pakistan. In a separate statement, Pakistan Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad

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