By Muhammad Luqman
The World Bank has said it was ready to support the reform plans of the new government in Pakistan that are needed to stabilize the economy and accelerate growth to end poverty and boost prosperity.
The commitment was made by the World Bank’s newly appointed Vice President for the South Asia Region, Hartwig Schafer, when he met with the government and key counterparts in the capital, Islamabad to discuss Pakistan’s development priorities and reform agenda.
“The visit gave me an opportunity to learn more about how we support millions of people in Pakistan, especially the youth, through investments in health, nutrition, education, skills and the digital economy,” said Schafer.
During his two-day stay in Islamabad, Schafer met with Finance Minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Razzak Dawood, Advisor, Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment. He also held discussions on digital disruption and regional connectivity and trade with stakeholders from the private sector and civil society.
“I am impressed to learn of the Government of Pakistan’s plans for investing in human capital and creating jobs, attracting investments through ease of doing business and better regional connectivity, improving infrastructure and services in Karachi, and strengthening the management of water and the environment,” said Schafer. “We look forward to engaging the Federal and Provincial Governments and providing support to implement urgent reforms needed to stabilize the economy and achieve accelerated growth in the medium term.”
Schafer was appointed as the World Bank Vice President for South Asia on July 1, 2018. The region includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.