New Delhi : The World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Hartwig Schafer, concluded today a two-day visit to Pakistan, emphasizing the need to sustain structural reforms and mainstream climate in development planning as the Bank continues to support the country’s recovery from COVID-19.
Schafer met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss the government’s top development priorities. He conveyed the World Bank’s commitment to support the new government’s ambition to stabilize the economy and accelerate structural reforms for stronger and more sustainable growth.
Schafer also met with Miftah Ismail, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, and Khurram Dastgir, Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division). In his meetings, he emphasized key economic and fiscal reforms as well as power sector reforms, including reducing power generation costs, decarbonizing the energy mix, better targeting subsidies, and reducing circular debt to help Pakistan accelerate recovery from the pandemic, better cope with the ongoing global price shocks and achieve higher economic growth.
“I encouraged the new government to stay the course on key structural reforms to improve power sector performance and on economic reforms including revenue mobilization, fiscal consolidation, and debt management,” said Hartwig Schafer. “Maintaining the momentum and accelerating the pace of these reforms will be critical for Pakistan’s green, resilient, and inclusive development.”
In his meetings, Schafer was accompanied by the World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan, Najy Benhassine and International Finance Corporation’s new Country Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Zeeshan Sheikh.