ISLAMABAD, Jan 25 (APP): Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Miftah Ismail Thursday apprised World Bank (WB) that the policies pursued during the last four years had stabilized the economy and helped it to grow at a steady pace.
The advisor, along with Minister for Water Resources and Minister of State for Finance had a meeting with visiting World Bank delegation, during which both the sides reiterated continued Pak-WB cooperation for the future economic development of Pakistan.
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.
Miftah informed the delegation that 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, adding that the current account had 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 would help narrow the trade deficit. The Adviser said that Pakistan had resolved the problem of energy shortages and now desired more investment in infrastructure development and would welcome World Bank’s support in this regard.
On the occasion, WB Vice President, Annette Dixon praised government’s efforts for strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals over the last four years and expressed the hope that Pakistan would maintain the momentum in future as well.
She called for greater focus on the development of agriculture sector and sustainable water management.
Minister of State for Finance, Rana Afzal, on the occasion said that 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 on the occasion apprised the meeting participants about her interaction with private sector companies in Karachi including those related to the energy sector and banks.
She said Pakistan had a vibrant private sector and mentioned IFC’s interest in supporting Pakistan Infrastructure Bank. She said higher private sector investment would greatly contribute to achieving higher economic growth.