The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pakistan government have designed a major new strategic partnership aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth through structural reforms and investment in the energy and infrastructure sectors, the regional lender said.
The Country Partnership Strategy 2009-2013 provides for a 4.4 billion-U.S.-dollar lending program that aligns with the government's goal of facilitating structural change, promoting investment, and improving institutional effectiveness, the bank said.
"These reforms will help enhance private sector investment, support diversification of the economy, create jobs, and improve the efficiency of government functioning," the bank said in a press release.
ADB said the program aims to strengthen Pakistan's energy supply chain in order to reduce electricity outages by a further 30 percent by 2012 and increasing the number of grid-connected electricity consumers from 60 percent in 2008 to 70 percent by 2013.
Pakistan's transport infrastructure is another focus of the ADB-Pakistan strategic program, ADB said, adding that financial and technical assistance will be supplied to improve connectivity along the National Trade Corridor and other major highways.
The program projects that by 2017 the road travel time between Peshawar and Karachi will be halved to 36 hours from the 2006 time of 72 hours, it added.
Pakistan has received about 19.8 billion U.S. dollars in loans since joining ADB in 1966, with about 14 billion U.S. dollars disbursed as of the end of 2008. As of December 2008, ADB's active portfolio in Pakistan included 62 public sector loans assistance channels amounting to 3.0 billion U.S. dollars in the areas of infrastructure, social sectors, governance and earthquake rehabilitation, for a total of 5.1 billion U.S. dollars.