Mr. John Hurley, USA’s Alternative Executive Director at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board calls on Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs in Islamabad on November, 15-2021.

Islamabad: November 15, 2021

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Omar Ayub Khan held a meeting with Mr. John Hurley, USA’s Alternative Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Mr. Yong Ye, Country Director, ADB and Mr. Noor Ahmed, Pakistan’s Executive Director to ADB also attended the meeting. The Minister welcomed Mr. Hurley on his first official visit to Pakistan and expressed his gratitude to the ADB management for efficiently processing and successfully procuring COVID-19 vaccines to support the Government’s national vaccination drive. The Minister highlighted the financial and budgetary importance of the two (02) ADB funded Program Loans, intended to target reform initiatives within the Energy and Capital Markets Sectors. The Minister informed Mr. Hurley that under these reform initiatives, the Government intends to move away 70% of energy production from fossil fuels to hydel-based and renewable sources by 2030. Mr. John Hurley, reiterated ADB’s commitment to support Pakistan’s reform agendas, especially within the Energy and Financial Markets Sectors, and to speed up the economic recovery process as soon as the ongoing IMF Review is completed. Mr. Hurley appreciated the Government’s national vaccination drive, and informed the Minister that the APVAX facility remains available if the Government chooses to opt for additional financing of COVID-19 vaccines in the near future. Mr. Hurley also emphasized the importance of pipeline ADB Funded Program Loans, such as the Domestic Resource Mobilization Program to increase the tax base, and enhance the overall revenue collection targets of the country for future debt sustainability and growth. The Minister said that given the rapid pace of urbanization and population growth, urban services sector was a priority area of the present Government. Moreover, the Minister highlighted the importance of developing Farm to Market Roads i.e., communication linkages and ensuring power supply to remote areas for increasing market accessibility and enhancing the Economic Rate of Return. The Minister informed Mr. Hurley that through the National Coordination Committee on Foreign Funded Projects (NCC-FPP), EAD had significantly improved performance of ongoing projects by removing major bottlenecks. The Minister also highlighted additional efforts within EAD to improve project management and oversight by creating a dedicated monitoring cell. The Minister also brought attention to the urgent humanitarian crisis evolving in Afghanistan, and sought the Bank’s support in the provision of essential food imports to abate famine condition during the upcoming harsh winter season.