Islamabad: Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar welcomed ADB’s Asian Development Outlook Supplement (December 2020), which highlights the liquidity and economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region despite the continuing challenges of COVID-19 it has been improved.
In its ADO Supplement, ADB has also revised growth projections for South Asia from -6.8% to -6.1% for the year 2020. While commending Pakistan’s performance, ADB has stated that Pakistan’s economy is recovering, particularly in the manufacturing and construction sectors, supported by the government emergency relief measures.
The Minister of Economy emphasized that Pakistan’s economy has performed very well in the context of the second wave of COVID-19 and continued global growth and contraction.
Before the outbreak of COVID, the macroeconomic fundamentals improved, and strong policy responses were taken during the pandemic, which helped us save people’s lives and livelihoods. The economy is expected to recover from the level before the COVID-19 outbreak. “He added.
Due to the government’s strong support for the industrial sector, especially the construction and textile industries, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) increased by 4.8% (year-on-year) in the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal year, while shrinking by 5.5% in the same quarter. last year. In the first five months of this fiscal year, the growth in output of cement, textiles, automobiles and household appliances proved the strong momentum of economic recovery.
This revival of industrial growth has also created huge employment opportunities and surpassed the pre-corona level. Foreign Direct Investment has also witnessed 150% YoY increase in October 2020 from $126 million in October, 2019 to $317 million in October, 2020. During the first five-months of FY21, workers’ remittances have reached an unprecedented level of US$ 11.77 billion, 26.9% higher than the same period last year. This increase in external inflows reflects the confidence of international investors, business community and overseas Pakistanis on the successful policies of the present government.
The Minister for Economic Affairs also appreciated the ADB for launching a $9 billion vaccine initiative under Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX). Under this initiative, the member countries can access rapid financing facility from ADB for procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccine.
APVAX will play a critical role in helping our developing members to overcome the corona pandemic and bring them back on a path of economic growth and sustainable development. Pakistan may access this emergency financing facility for vaccine procurement to the extent needed.
The Minister termed this ADB’s initiative remarkable and timely for combating the pandemic.