ISLAMABAD – Adviser to prime minister on finance Miftah Ismail has said that Pakistan has resolved the problem of energy shortage and is now looking for more investment in infrastructure development. He said that Pakistan would welcome World Bank’s support in this regard.
He made these remarks in a meeting with visiting World Bank delegation along with minister for water resources and minister of state for finance. The delegation, led by Ms Annette Dixon, vice president for South Asia Region, also included Ms Snezana Stoiijkovic, IFC regional vice president (Asia-Pacific) and country director World Bank in Pakistan, Patchamuthu Illangovan.
Adviser Miftah Ismail apprised the visiting delegation of the current state of economy and said that the policies pursued during the last four years had stabilized the economy and helped it to grow at a steady pace. He said Pakistan achieved a decade high growth rate of 5.3% last fiscal year and was targeting 6% growth in 2017-18. He said that the government was laying great emphasis on tax reforms and broadening of tax base. Miftah Ismail added that the current account has posed a challenge in the recent past due to increased imports required in the expansionary phase. He said that the export enhancing measures have started to bear fruit and export growth will help narrow the trade deficit.
Vice President World Bank Annette Dixon, while praising present government’s efforts for strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals over the last four years, hoped Pakistan would maintain the momentum in future as well. She called for greater focus on development of agriculture sector and sustainable water management.
Minister Rana Afzal, on the occasion, said regional trade, particularly with Iran and Afghanistan, could help greater trade earnings for Pakistan and the government was making efforts in this regard.
IFC Regional Vice President Ms Snezana Stoiijkovic apprised the meeting about her interaction with private sector companies at Karachi including those related to energy sector and banks. She said Pakistan has a vibrant private sector and mentioned IFC’s interest in supporting Pakistan Infrastructure Bank. She said higher private sector investment would greatly contribute in achieving higher economic growth.
Adviser Miftah Ismail and World Bank Vice President Annette Dixon reiterated continued Pak-World Bank cooperation for economic development in Pakistan in future.