After soaking up the rich cultural heritage in Lahore and witnessing the World Bank Group’s development partnership with Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, Sri Mulyani Indrawati arrived in the modern, yet idyllic capital of the country, Islamabad Monday afternoon. She had two busy days in Islamabad with a packed schedule, meeting representatives of academia, think-tanks, private sector, civil society, diplomatic missions, and development agencies.
She appreciated the Pakistan government’s efforts to stabilize the economy and pursuing the path of equitable growth for poverty reduction and shared prosperity during her meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and other members of the federal cabinet.
In a young country like Pakistan, where more than half of the country’s population is below 24, no visit could be considered complete without interactions with its dynamic youth. In her first ever address to the youth and scholars of Pakistan at the Higher Education Commission, Indrawati emphasized the importance of garnering the youth’s energy and innovation by provision of skills training and quality jobs. In her speech titled, “What will it take to realize Pakistan’s potential?” Indrawati said that womens empowerment, better governance, institution building, and focusing on a few priority development areas like energy, education, health and social safety nets can prove to be engines of development for the country. She said that while there is so much that sets each country apart from the rest of the world, there is also much that can be learned from global experience and knowledge. “Whenever I think of Pakistan, I think of my own country Indonesia as we also went through many similar experiences in our journey to development and progress,” she said.