ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Group (WBG) President Jim Yong Kim concluded a two-day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday by urging the country to raise the ambition of its economic reforms while also encouraging the private sector to take a bigger role in creating jobs, especially for youth and women.
On the second day of his visit to Pakistan, Kim met with students, women entrepreneurs and other representatives of the private sector in Karachi and said they could all play a role in strengthening the country’s economy and helping the government to improve the investment climate, a statement of the Bank issued here said.
“I have been impressed over the last two days with the achievements of the people of Pakistan and would encourage the country to be more ambitious with reforming its economy so that more people are lifted out of poverty more quickly and prosperity is more widely shared,” Kim said.
“I had excellent talks with the country’s leaders and people on strengthening the role of the private sector for job creation, accelerating energy reforms, making improvements at the community level for health and education, and ensuring that anti-poverty measures are effective at reaching poor people.”, he remarked.
At a discussion organized at the Institute of Business Administration on “Social Innovation and Inclusion”, Kim praised the role of emerging female entrepreneurs and said youth is a great asset for Pakistan’s development.
He assured the audience of students, faculty members, media and female entrepreneurs that the WBG would continue to support skills development and creation of quality jobs for youth and women.
“Evidence shows that when women have greater control over household funds, or agricultural resources, it can have significant pay offs. At a time when the world is looking for additional drivers of growth, there’s an untapped market out there that everyone should invest more in women.” said Kim.
“The number of young people in Pakistan is growing rapidly and so job creation is a priority and this is where the private sector can play a huge role.”
While in Karachi, Kim called on the Sindh leadership, and heard about the reform agenda and the development priorities of the province.
They exchanged ideas on how the World Bank can help the province in effective implementation of its projects.
On his first day in Pakistan, Kim met in Islamabad with the prime minister and his economic team and secretaries from provincial and federal governments.
He also participated in a launch event for WBG support to Pakistan’s financial inclusion reform agenda, “Pakistan’s Path towards Universal Financial Access”, with Queen M?xima of the Netherlands, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Kim also participated in a panel discussion on “Managing Displaced Populations”.
He also met with provincial leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan.
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, we have committed over $5.6 billion in Pakistan, including $1.2 billion during the 2015 fiscal year.
International Finance Corporation (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.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder