Pakistan largest ADB borrower in 2007
Thursday, 24 April 2008

Pakistan was the largest borrower of Asian Development Bank in 2007 with $2 billion, or 20 per cent of the total loans the bank extended last year, says ADB’s annual report for 2007 released on Monday, reports agencies.

Lending to Pakistan targeted greater inclusivensss and access to financial services, policy reforms for capital market development and improved government efficiency.

Lending was also directed at providing $400 million in long-term investment financing to clear bottlenecks in transport and to support energy, irrigation and earthquake rehabilitation projects.

A multi-tranche financing facility worth $900 million was approved for Pakistan trade corridor highway programme. A second tranche of a Pakistan power transmission MFF was also approved by the ADB, the report says.

To further strengthen ADB’s long-standing development partnership a new country partnership was being prepared for consideration by the ADB Board. ADB strengthened aid effectiveness by leading a capacity-building working group established by the government and by supporting the harmonisation and alignment of approaches to development assistance.

About the impact of operations, the report says disbursements were a record $990.5 million and contract awards $1.1 billion, with about 95 per cent of the loans expected to either exceed or meet most of their development objectives.

The vision of an Asia and Pacific region free of poverty continues to be the foremost aspiration of ADB’s member countries. Preliminary analysis and consultations, however, have revealed the changing nature of poverty in the region and the need to place much greater and concerted attention on inclusive growth: creating opportunities through economic growth and private sector development, and giving all citizens more chances to participate in and benefit from growth.

Under the new long-term strategic framework to be adopted this year, the ADB will define its role and strategic directions to guide operations in 2008–2020, with strong emphasis on achieving development impact in developing member countries in association with a wide range of partners within and outside the region.

The ADB approved $10.1 billion in loans in 2007, a 37 per cent increase over the previous year, in response to demands for development assistance, the annual report says. The operational sector with the biggest share of loans was transport and communications with $3.9 billion, or 39 per cent of total loans, more than double the amount in 2006. Loans with government guarantees last year totalled $9.2 billion for 61 projects.

Of this amount, $7.4 billion came from the ordinary capital resources of ADB, while the balance was sourced from the concessional Asian Development Fund. ADB approved a further $672.7 million of assistance in grants in 2007, up 25% from the previous year.

Of the total, $519.3 million came from ADF IX; $30.0 million from the Pakistan Earthquake Fund; and $123.4 million from external sources with full or partial administration by the ADB. A total of 242 technical assistance projects were approved worth $243.4 million, all of which were also provided as grants.

Recognising the important role of the private sector in generating jobs and economic growth, ADB approved $760.3 million for 19 non-sovereign loans to the private sector and $105.0 million for three non-sovereign loans to the public sector.

On project performance last year, ADB showed an improvement in disbursement to $6.8 billion from $5.7 billion in 2006. Of the total, $5.2 billion were disbursements from ordinary capital resources while ADF disbursements accounted for the balance.

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