Friends of Pakistan meeting on April 2: Govt to propose $30bn aid and investment package
By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: The government will propose a 10-year $30 billion aid and investment package at the experts level meeting of Friends of Pakistan scheduled to be held on April 2 in Abu Dhabi.
Experts level meeting would finalise agenda for the ministerial level meeting, scheduled at Tokyo on April 17 to be presided over by President of Pakistan.
Representatives from 22 donor countries and international development institutions to participate in the experts level meeting, hosted by Pakistan while Japan, USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, EU (European Commission), Australia, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development.
Day One April 1, 2009: Dr Anwar Muhammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to be the chief guest at inaugural session of the meeting.
Salman Faruqui, co-chairman, Federal Minister and Secretary General to the President of Pakistan would brief the participants the about the development requirements of Pakistan.
Secretary, Planning Commission would brief the participants on Pakistan’s strategic perspective on the Friends of Pakistan-Clusters on development, security, energy and institution building.
Secretaries Finance and Economic Affairs Division to present Pakistan’s strategic perspective on the Tokyo Donors Conference and Trade and Finance.
Secretary Planning Commission to chair experts level discussion on FODP Clusters especially Development Cluster. Secretary Interior to brief the participants of FODP meeting proposals developed by the security cluster for enhancement of capacity of the Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies and forces to fight militancy and fight against terror.
Thursday April 2, 2009: Discussion on Clusters proposals to continues on second day.
Secretary, Water and Power and chairman WAPDA would present in the meeting proposals finalised by Energy Cluster.
Ambassador-at-Large Javed Malik would give presentation on Public Diplomacy. Presentation on institution building cluster to be given by Senator Sughra Imam, presentation on trade and finance to be delivered by secretaries Finance and EAD. At the conclusion of the meeting, agenda and report of the experts level meeting would be finalised.
Sardar Aseef Ahmed Ali, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission told reporters including $6 billion Basha Dam with two billion from other initiatives proposed package estimated at $30 billion for next 10 years.
However, excluding Basha Dam, aid ranging $22 billion have been proposed for the next 5 years, he added.
Some 25 percent of the $22 billion proposed aid package have been proposed as grants for poverty alleviation, human resource development and health as well as education sector uplift, being main components of the social sector, Sardar Aseef said.
Youth can be potential Bomb or Potential Opportunity, as human resource development is key to eliminate indulgence of youth in terrorist activities in Pakistan especially in FATA and other disadvantage areas of the country and this would help utilisation youth in the development of the country, he explained.
Mr Aseef was of the view that securitisation of remittances especially from Middle East is expected to make available $3.5 billion foreign exchange for reserves building purposes.
This would not only help for enhancing foreign exchange reserves to a comfortable level but would also help improve Pakistan’s credit rating and reduction in insurance premium.