Pak­istan can grow with re­forms, says WB Pres­i­dent

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Reporter

World Bank Group (WBG) Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim con­cluded a two-day visit to Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day by urg­ing the coun­try to raise the am­bi­tion of its eco­nomic re­forms. He also en­cour­aged pri­vate sec­tor to take a big­ger role in cre­at­ing jobs, es­pe­cially for youth and women.

On the se­cond day of his visit to Pak­istan, Kim met with stu­dents, women en­trepreneurs and other rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the pri­vate sec­tor here.

He said they could all play a role in strength­en­ing the coun­try's econ­omy and help­ing the govern­ment to im­prove in­vest­ment cli­mate. "I have been im­pressed over the last two days with the achieve­ments of the peo­ple of Pak­istan and would en­cour­age the coun­try to be more am­bi­tious with re­form­ing its econ­omy so that more peo­ple are lifted out of poverty more quickly and pros­per­ity is more widely shared," Jim Yong Kim said.

"I had ex­cel­lent talks with the coun­try's lead­ers and peo­ple on strength­en­ing the role of the pri­vate sec­tor for job cre­ation, ac­cel­er­at­ing en­ergy re­forms, mak­ing im­prove­ments at the com­mu­nity level for health and education, and en­sur­ing that anti-poverty mea­sures are ef­fec­tive at reach­ing poor peo­ple."

At a dis­cus­sion or­gan­ised at the In­sti­tute of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion on "So­cial In­no­va­tion and In­clu­sion", Kim praised the role of emerg­ing fe­male en­trepreneurs and said youth is a great as­set for Pak­istan's de­vel­op­ment.

He as­sured the au­di­ence of stu­dents, fac­ulty mem­bers, and fe­male en­trepreneurs that the WBG would con­tinue to sup­port skills de­vel­op­ment and cre­ation of qual­ity jobs for youth and women. "Ev­i­dence shows that when women have greater con­trol over house­hold funds, or agri­cul­tural re­sources, it can have sig­nif­i­cant pay­offs. At a time when the world is look­ing for ad­di­tional driv­ers of growth, there's an un­tapped mar­ket out there that ev­ery­one should in­vest in more: women," said Kim.

"The num­ber of young peo­ple in Pak­istan is grow­ing rapidly and so job cre­ation is a pri­or­ity and this is where the pri­vate sec­tor can play a huge role." While in Karachi, Jim Yong Kim called on the Sindh lead­er­ship, and heard about the re­form agenda and the de­vel­op­ment pri­or­i­ties of the prov­ince.

They ex­changed ideas on how the World Bank can help the prov­ince in ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of its projects. On his first day in Pak­istan, Jim Yong Kim met in Is­lam­abad with the Prime Min­is­ter and his eco­nomic team and sec­re­taries from pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments. He also par­tic­i­pated in a launch event for WBG sup­port to Pak­istan's fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion re­form agenda, "Pak­istan's Path to­wards Uni­ver­sal Fi­nan­cial Ac­cess", with Queen Max­ima of the Nether­lands, and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ishaq Dar.

Jim Yong Kim also par­tic­i­pated in a panel dis­cus­sion on "Man­ag­ing Dis­placed Pop­u­la­tions". He also met with pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa, Pun­jab and Balochis­tan.

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