ADB loans Pakistan $500m to boost exports

9 Aug 19

Pakistan’s efforts to boost its exports in order to protect the economy against external shocks are being supported by a $500m loan from the Asian Development Bank.

The south-Asian country is preparing a ‘trade and competitiveness programme’ to reform its tariff and tax policies with the hope of making its exports more competitive internationally.

ADB director general for central and west Asia Werner Liepach said: “Trade is an important pillar in Pakistan’s overarching development objective to foster economic stability and sustainable high growth.

“The trade and competitiveness programme will help define and implement key reforms to help tackle these development challenges and bring livelihood opportunities to the people of Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s total value of exports and complexity of export products has lagged behind its neighbours in recent years, which had led to fewer opportunities for the type of jobs that were “crucial for sustained poverty reduction”, according to an ADB paper released in September 2018.

The likely beneficiaries of the trade and competitiveness programme will, according to the same paper, be people working in the textile, clothing and leather industries.

Pakistan recently agreed a $6bn bailout with the IMF after its rupee lost about a third of its value, inflation rose to more than 8% and its foreign exchange reserves dwindled.

It is hoped this programme will strengthen the country’s economy in the long term.

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