Pakistan can grow with reforms, says WB President
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.