Pakistan to continue long term development partnership with Canada : Hammad Azhar

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar on Thursday held discussions with a high level Canadian delegation, led by Deputy Minister of International Development of Canada, Ms Leslie Maclean at Economic Affairs Division(EAD).

Both sides discuss Pakistan’s development agenda, impact of Canada’s development assistance to Pakistan, current issues affecting delivery of development assistance and how the Development Partners can support in its delivery in future, said a press release issued by EAD. Minister for Economic Affairs expressed gratitude to the visiting delegate for taking interest in development partnership with Pakistan and appreciated that Canada had been supporting Pakistan through humanitarian as well as technical assistance in various projects, carried out through the provincial governments and civil society organizations.

The Minister also highlighted that the Government authorities remained committed to expanding the social safety nets, reducing poverty, and accord priority to other social issues such as health, education, clean drinking water and providing subsidized energy by not enhancing tariff rates for the lower income group.

He emphasized on identification and formulation of few simple and focused priority projects interventions with clearly visible results as too many and muti-sectoral projects lose effectiveness and efficiency to pass benefits to the people. The Deputy Minister of International Development stated that visit of high level delegation from Canada signified the importance Canada gave to Pakistan in long term development partnership and desired to know about development priorities of Pakistan.

The Canadian side appreciated the suggestion and assured to build strong and sustainable development partnership with greater focus on simplicity, monitoring, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. Both sides also exchanged views on the prospects of the mutual economic cooperation in multiple sectors and IMF plan for Pakistan. The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs briefed the delegation about the economic challenges faced by Pakistan and the recent developments and outlooks and highlighted improved indicators of Pakistani economy despite enormous challenges.

Pakistan’s economic reform programme is on track and IMF Executive Board is undertaking second review of Pakistan’s Extended Fund Facility and Pakistan progress is quite satisfactory in this regard. Both the sides expressed firm resolve to continue such interactions at higher level to better understand the development needs, opportunities of cooperation and investment in the emerging sectors.