Pakistan desires to implement a higher number of development projects in the areas of IT, social and infrastructure under the Korean financing facilities, said Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan.

Speaking to a South Korean delegation, headed by Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance Director General Chong Hwa Lee, on Thursday, Ayub appreciated the role played by the Exim Bank for financing various development projects in Pakistan.

“The mobilisation of financial resources by the Exim Bank will contribute to social and economic development in Pakistan,” the minister added.

“At present, five development projects are under implementation with financing of $343 million from the EDFC/Exim Bank of Korea.”

Detailing about the projects, he said that they included the Technology Park in Islamabad, Kalkatak-Chitral Road, Chakdara-Timergara Road, Malakand Tunnel and Children Hospital in Sukkur.

Speaking on the occasion, the Korean side informed the minister that the Exim Bank would sign a new framework arrangement (2022-26) with Pakistan soon to enhance the existing level of financing from $500 million to $1 billion.

Under the scheme, the Exim Bank will implement new projects in road infrastructure, climate change, healthcare and IT.

The minister for economic affairs appreciated the government of South Korea for its continuous support for various development projects and disaster management schemes including combating the Covid-19 pandemic and locust attacks in Pakistan.

On the sidelines of the meeting, a loan agreement for the establishment of IT Park in Karachi was also signed.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around $199 million, out of which $158 million will be provided by the Exim Bank of Korea.

This project is aimed at providing IT-enabled hi-tech infrastructure that will enable IT companies to work together by leveraging each other’s expertise, foster industry-academia cooperation and promote entrepreneurship in Pakistan.

Both sides also held a policy dialogue under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) framework at the Economic Affairs Division.

Haider welcomed the delegation and stated that the government of Pakistan accorded great importance to its relations with South Korea.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2021.

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