ISLAMABAD - World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim yesterday said Pakistan was now on the path of increased economic growth and prosperity due to the prudent economic policies of the government.

Talking to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Dr Jim Yong Kim applauded the prudent economic policies of the government, saying Pakistan’s economic outlook had become stable as a result of the ardent efforts of the country’s financial team.

The World Bank President further admired the government’s projects aimed at achieving better regional connectivity and cooperation to fully exploit the country’s important strategic location between the world’s two largest consumer markets which offer unique opportunities to Pakistan for further economic development.

The prime minister said his government believed in liberal and private sector-driven economy. “Our efforts are aimed at ensuring ideal business environment for the private sector as governments were not meant to do business.”

“When private sector is adequately facilitated, the business benefits reach the entire country; when the governments start doing businesses, then huge losses in the shape of subsidies are incurred,” he held. The prime minister appreciated the support of the World Bank in Pakistan’s economic growth and resuming policy lending after the assumption of office by the present government.

Sharif said the government was making all-out efforts to bring improvement in every sector of the economy, including development of mega-hydropower projects, rail and road infrastructure, education and health. The assistance of World Bank for Dasu Hydropower Project and Tarbela-IV Extension Project would help the government in improving the energy mix and reduce dependence on expensive fuels, underlined the prime minister.

Dr Jim Yong Kim expressed full support for the government’s tough economic decisions and said the WB supports the structural reform agenda. “I can recall our first meeting when I had shared my worries about Pakistan’s security, energy and macroeconomic stability. Let me state that under your leadership, Pakistan has witnessed phenomenal improvements in all the three sectors and we support your endeavours,” Dr Jim Yong Kim said to the prime minister.

Separately, The Netherlands Queen Maxima yesterday appreciated the successful march of Paksitan’s economy under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and reiterated support to these endeavours of economic revival. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who is also UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development, called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the PM House.

While appreciating Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s efforts in ensuring use of digital technology in Financial Inclusion for Development, the Queen said that greater access of women to smart-phones across the country will help a great deal in empowering women in Pakistan.

While welcoming the Queen, the prime minister said Pakistan valued its relations with the Netherlands, both bilaterally and within the context of the European Union. The prime minister expressed his appreciation on Her Majesty’s devotion to promoting Financial Inclusion for Development.

Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme was yielding significant dividends in encouraging sustainable inclusive growth by investing in the country’s human capital and empowering women, Nawaz Sharif added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will lead a high-level delegation on a two-day visit to the State of Qatar today (Wednesday, during which the two countries are expected to sign a number of agreements in various fields, including a long-term sale-purchase agreement of LNG. During the visit, the prime minister will hold meetings with the Emir of Qatar and his counterpart. The two sides will participate in wide-ranging delegation-level talks, during which a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the fields of health, radio and television, education and research and defence will be signed.

According to a news release of Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman would accompany the prime minister to visit the brotherly country.

During the visit, leadership of Pakistan and Qatar will discuss possibility of enhancing areas of cooperation in various defence related fields. To make this visit a momentous occasion, two each of JF-17 Thunder and Super Mushshak aircraft along with a PAF contingent of Pakistan Air Force have already reached Doha to carry out a spectacular aerial display.

These aircraft will perform static and aerial display which will be witnessed by Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with senior government and military officials from both the countries.