WASHINGTON - Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar met with the Chinese Vice Minister for Finance Mr. Yaobin Shi on the sidelines of World Bank and IMF Meetings in Washington DC on Sunday. The Finance Minister said that Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform in Pakistan is diligently working with the China’s National Development and Reform Commission on the energy and Pakistan-China Economic Corridor projects.

The Vice Minister appreciated Pakistan’s regional connectivity initiatives and expressed his support for pushing forward enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries besides Economic Corridor and Orange Line.

Referring to Sino-Pakistan all weather friendship, Mr. Yaobin said that the Chinese President looks forward to his visit to Pakistan on mutually agreed dates.

Senator Dar expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Vice Minister for his kind words and resolve towards Pakistan’s economic recovery and apprised him of the successful holding of Diamer Basha Opportunities Conference in Washington DC with the support of USAID this week. He also mentioned about World Bank’s pledge for Dasu Project and its significance both for irrigation and power generation purposes besides managing floods. Senator Dar apprised the Vice Minister of the ongoing North Waziristan operation and government’s resolve to fight the menace of extremism.  The Finance Minister said that the government has come a long way in achieving macroeconomic stability and after six years the growth has crossed the 4 % mark.

Dar for more IFAD funds to develop rural areas: Lauding the role of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector, Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Sunday stressed the need for additional allocations by the Fund, targeting rural areas of the country.

The minister was talking to IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze who called on him in Washington on Saturday, according to a press statement issued by Ministry of Finance here.  The Finance Minister informed Nwanze that the government values IFAD’s contribution in Pakistan’s Agriculture sector which has a major share in country’s GDP.

Senator Dar commended IFAD’s initiation of study on diaspora remittances and for identifying steps to encourage investment of remittances in the rural areas, especially in agriculture.  He assured that the issues of IFAD would be taken up with the Provincial governments on his return to Pakistan.  Dar acknowledged the contribution of IFAD in the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector and offered to extend every possible assistance for smooth implementation of its projects.  On the occasion Kanayo informed the Finance Minister that the fund has recently mobilized their resources and by the end of 2015, significant financial resources would be available for prospective programmes in Pakistan.  He informed the minister that Pakistan was the fourth largest recipient of IFAD resources in Asia and the Pacific region and that Pakistan was also a contributor to IFAD’s resources.  Kayano explained that in comparison to other financial institutions, IFAD has a sense of ownership by virtue of working at the grassroots level.

IFAD, he said, has created a new position in Pakistan, in order to diversify its programmes, particularly focusing on youth employment and job creation in rural areas.