Pakistan government has not requested assistance for Diamir Bhasha Dam: ADB

Pakistan government has not requested assistance for Diamir Bhasha Dam: ADB

ISLAMABAS: (APP) Vice President of ADB, Wencai Zhang said that however Pakistan government has not formally requested for any assistance for the construction of Diamir Bhasha Dam project.

He said the Bank would extend US $150 million for Pakistan this year under its country strategy.

Zhang said the ADB has also signed an agreement with Pakistan for provision of $100 million to build remaining 64 km section of motorway (M-4) connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province.

He said that energy is an important sector for Pakistan's economy and added that the bank would extend support in this sector to help the country overcoming the energy shortages.

While lauding the government reforms, the Vice President of ADB said that the government has ownership for the reforms. He stressed the need for diversifying energy sector through exploiting renewable energy including solar, coal, gas and thermal to overcome the energy shortages in the country. Loadshedding has slightly improved in the country.

He said that the government has achieved a GDP growth of 4.7 per cent while the ADB projected a growth of 4.5 per cent by end of current fiscal year.

He added that the growth rate of 4.7 per cent is realistic as he was informed by the finance minister Ishaq Dar during his meeting on Monday.

He expressed the hope that Pakistan has potential to enhance its growth to 7 per cent or even more if government has to make more efforts and investments in this regard.

Highlighting the importance of private sector, the Vice President of the Bank said that private sector can play vital role in the growth of sustainable economic development.

However, he said this requires leveraging of private sector for industrialization, job creation and economic growth.

He called for diversifying economy for making the industry more competitive and for prosperity of the country.

He also called for making textile sector more competitive for the benefit of the country.

The ADB vice president further said that China has achieved progress by promoting special economic zones (SEZs) by incentivizing the investors in the zones.

Likewise, he said Pakistan can also achieve progress and prosperity by promoting SEZs in different parts of the country.

He added that Pakistan can exploit its cheap labour in these zones.

He has also visited Special Economic Zone industrial park in Korangi Karachi.