ADB’s New Long-Term Strategy Strengthens Support to Pakistan – ADB Official

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (19 December 2018) � A senior official at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Tomoyuki Kimura, outlined key policy directions of ADB's new corporate strategy and its importance to Pakistan's development agenda at a press briefing in Islamabad today.

During his 2-day visit, Mr. Kimura, the Director General of ADB's Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, met with Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar, and briefed senior government officials of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Planning, Pakistan Business Council, State Bank of Pakistan in Islamabad and Karachi.

ADB's long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2030, introduced in July, responds to the evolving economic conditions in Asia and the Pacific and resolves to strengthen its country-focused approach, including support to Pakistan's development agenda.

Strategy 2030 enables ADB to better respond to Pakistan's changing development needs. ADB shares the Government of Pakistan's vision to accelerate sustainable and inclusive economic growth by promoting innovative technologies and delivering development solutions through a mix of public and private sector operations, said Mr. Kimura. ADB supports Pakistan's agenda of diversifying exports to revitalize the economy and generate jobs. The strategy provides ADB with the framework and tools to tailor development finance, knowledge, and partnerships to specific country needs.

Mr. Kimura noted Pakistan's growth prospects. Pakistan's strategic location presents vast opportunities to expand regional economic and market integration. The country needs to continue to improve key infrastructure, energy supply, domestic resource mobilization, and the cost of doing business to ensure higher levels of competitiveness and productivity, and to link up with the global production networks and value chains.

Mr. Kimura encouraged Pakistan to resolve structural impediments to economic development through reforms that revive and diversify exports. He said Pakistan needs to improve skills and labor market efficiency; enhance financial inclusion and deepening; and promote greater infrastructure, private sector and foreign direct investment, and trade integration.

Under Strategy 2030, ADB will focus on seven operational priorities: (i) addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities; (ii) accelerating progress in gender equality; (iii) tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability; (iv) making cities more livable; (v) promoting rural development and food security; (vi) strengthening governance and institutional capacity; and (vii) fostering regional cooperation and integration.

Infrastructure investments�particularly sustainable, environmentally friendly investments�will remain a priority. At least 75% of ADB's operations in Asia and the Pacific will support climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030. Climate finance is expected to reach $80 billion by 2030. At the same time, ADB will expand operations in social sectors, such as education, health, and social protection, and increase its emphasis on promoting gender equality through its projects.

ADB will also expand and diversify its private sector operations to reach one-third of ADB operations by 2024.

We will expand our private sector operations in new and frontier markets, such as fragile and conflict-affected situations and small-island developing states. We will also support more public-private partnerships and cofinancing, said Mr. Kimura.

ADB will continue to prioritize support for the region's poorest and most vulnerable countries. It will apply differentiated approaches to meet the diverse needs of various groups of countries: fragile and conflict-affected situations, small-island developing states, low-income and lower middle-income countries, and upper middle-income countries. Across these country groups, ADB will prioritize support for lagging areas and pockets of poverty and fragility.

The overarching goal of Strategy 2030 is to reduce extreme poverty and achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. Formulated with extensive region-wide multi-stakeholder consultations and internal review processes, the strategy also outlines plans to modernize business processes, expand its products and instruments, and strengthen its human resources to ensure stronger, better, and faster operations.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members�48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

Source: Asian Development bank