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LAHORE: The World Bank delegation headed by Christopher visited Planning and Development Board Complex and met with Chairman (P&D) Sarfraz Ali and discussed funded projects across Punjab.

They discussed various aspects of the ‘private investment and competitiveness project in Punjab’. It may be mentioned that this meeting is a follow-up to previous discussions held between the WB team and the Government of Punjab, following a request put forward by former Chairman P&D to the World Bank Country Director to finance a follow-up operation after the ‘Punjab Jobs and Competitiveness Programme’ closed in December 2021.

The preliminary proposed project objective is to improve the enabling environment for private investment and competitiveness of select clusters in Punjab. The World Bank delegation discussed the objectives to have digitalization and confirm the government of Punjab’s interest for this operation, following the recent changes in Punjab.

The WB senior management and Chairman P&D also discussed the WB current operations in Punjab and proposed new projects, including ‘private investment and competitiveness project’.

The proposed project will contribute to the enabling environment for private investment and competitiveness of Punjab by improving policies and regulations for private investment. It will also provide overhauling, streamlining regulations and capacitating the institutional landscape governing private investment. It was also decided to attract private investment and financing that promotes coordination and availability of public goods to improve productivity in selected export-oriented clusters.

It was decided to support medium-size existing and potential exporting firms in export-oriented clusters through compliance with international buyers’ standards. The WB delegation also informs the participants of the meeting about the design parameters of the proposed operation. The World Bank mission also asked about “any other government priorities for private investment and competitiveness in Punjab”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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