Islamabad, January 28, 2017— World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva ended a three-day visit to Pakistan today by supporting a deepening of Pakistan’s reforms for accelerating growth and saying she had “constructive discussions” with the country’s leadership on the Indus Waters Treaty.
During her three-day visit, Georgieva called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, met with his economic team led by the Federal Minister for Finance, and the Federal Minister of Water and Power. This is Georgieva’s first visit to any country after assuming her new role on January 2 and she plans to visit India in the next weeks.
“Pakistan is fully aware that it needs to step up to a higher level of growth and create opportunities for its youth and contribute towards sustainable growth,” said Georgieva. “In my meetings with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, we agreed that the government should speedily implement structural reforms needed to spur private investments and I had constructive discussions fully to understand all perspectives on the Indus Waters Treaty.”
India, Pakistan and the World Bank are signatories to the Treaty and are in discussions about how to resolve disagreements the two countries have over India’s construction of two hydroelectric power plants.
Maintaining its neutral role as a Treaty signatory, the World Bank in December announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements. The hope with announcing the pause was for the two countries to begin to resolve the issue in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of the treaty rather than pursuing concurrent processes that could make the treaty unworkable over time.
Georgieva’s started her trip with a visit to the Tarbela Hydropower Project. “Tarbela is a marvelous project for Pakistan and a testimony to sustainable management of the Indus. It is an excellent example to showcase the world that Pakistan is producing clean, renewable and environment friendly energy”, Georgieva said.
She met with the leadership of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and learned about province-level reform efforts and development projects under implementation and preparation with the Bank’s support. She stressed the importance of the role of the provincial governments in the effective implementation of reforms. Georgieva walked around a cultural restoration project in the old walled city of Lahore and later visited a local school project in Karachi and was impressed with the work in progress.
She also discussed ways to expand financial services to the poor with the Governor, State Bank and the Chief Executive Officers of the banks.
Georgieva is accompanied by Annette Dixon, Vice President for the South Asia Region of the World Bank.
For details on Georgieva’s biography, please click on this link.
The World Bank Group in Pakistan: 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 27 investment lending projects under implementation with a total net commitment of $5.3 billion. During fiscal year 2016, the World Bank commitments amounted to almost $2.3 billion. IFC’s advisory services program in Pakistan is one of its largest in the region, with 17 active projects and a funding commitment of about $25 million.