Islamabad: The Asian Development Bank has signed a USD 500-million loan agreement with cash-strapped Pakistan to support the country's trade competitiveness and exports. The Manila-based ADB also approved a USD 750,000 technical assistance package to support the preparation and implementation of the program in the country, the multilateral lender said in a statement.
"Trade is an important pillar in Pakistan's overarching development objective to foster economic stability and sustainable high growth," said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Werner Liepach.
"The trade and competitiveness program will help define and implement key reforms to help tackle these development challenges and bring livelihood opportunities to the people of Pakistan."
The agreement was signed by Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and the ADB's Country Director Xiaohong Yang in the presence of Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar on Wednesday, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Azhar urged the ADB to scale up its assistance to Pakistan for both lending and project financing programmes, the report said. Pakistan's trade and competitiveness programme aims to promote macroeconomic stability, raise export performance and economic growth, an official statement said.