The reciprocated nurturing of friendly ties between the UAE and Pakistan was at the forefront yesterday, when Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, and State Bank of Pakistan, SBP, signed an agreement to help Islamabad overcome its current account challenges.
Tariq Bajwa, Governor of the SBP, who signed the agreement in Abu Dhabi, to formalise an US$3 billion (AED11 billion) deposit into the central bank of Pakistan, said, "It will help us in meeting current account challenges."
In 2018, the UAE announced to deposit US$3 billion with the State Bank of Pakistan, under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to bolster Pakistan's economy.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has made two trips to UAE since assuming power in August 2018. These visits were aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries and discussing mutual interests. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also visited Islamabad earlier in January, his first trip to Pakistan since 2007.
"The UAE has always supported Pakistan economically, and Pakistan has also reciprocated in the same spirit," Bajwa said, adding, that this also reflects the strong bonds that the two countries have.
In a video message to ADFD, published on the Fund's twitter account following the signing of the agreement, Bajwa said the UAE government assistance will ride over the short term difficulty Pakistan is facing. "We are thankful to His Highness, the government, and people of the UAE, and Abu Dhabi Fund, for the support that they are providing us at this difficult juncture."
ADFD has so far provided AED1.5 billion to fund sustainable development projects in Pakistan in sectors like transport, water and agriculture, healthcare, and education.
The UAE has provided a total of US$731.326 million to Pakistan for 328 projects under UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE-PAP, in infrastructure development, education, health, water and humanitarian fields. The UAE also provided US$114.354 million for six vaccination campaigns in the second and third phases the assistance programme.
$3bn allocated to State Bank of Pakistan: ADFD
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has formalised an US$3 billion (AED11 billion) deposit into the State Bank of Pakistan to support Pakistan’s economic growth and achieve the long-term objectives of its monetary policy.
Announced in December 2018, the decision to formalise the deposit was made under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Tariq Bajwa, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, signed the agreement at the ADFD headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director General of ADFD, and other senior representatives of the two parties attended the signing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said, "The directive to deposit US$3 billion with the State Bank of Pakistan aligns with the UAE leadership’s keenness to bolster Pakistan’s economy, help its government achieve financial stability and overcome economic challenges, and drive comprehensive development in the country."
"ADFD and the Government of Pakistan have enjoyed strong and long-standing ties dating back to 1981. The Fund’s efforts have significantly contributed to improving socio-economic conditions in the country, boosting strategic growth and achieving the development priorities of the Pakistani government," he added.
For his part, Tariq Bajwa, praised the UAE leadership for their continued support to the people of Pakistan. He also noted the support from ADFD over the years has stimulated economic growth and contributed to sustainable development.
To date, ADFD has provided AED1.5 billion to fund sustainable development projects in Pakistan spanning diverse sectors, including transport, water and agriculture, healthcare, and education.
The following is a brief overview of notable projects in strategic sectors funded by ADFD in Pakistan:
In line with its strategy to focus on infrastructure projects that support socio-economic growth, ADFD has invested considerable capital into projects in Pakistan’s transport sector. In 2013, ADFD funded the AED227 million grant for the construction of the UAE-Pakistani Friendship Road. Linking the southern and northern parts of the Waziristan region, the 72 km road facilitates the movement of people and goods between three major cities and 20 villages.
ADFD funded two healthcare projects in Pakistan worth AED230 million, aimed at elevating living standards.
In 2013, the Fund allocated AED217 million for the construction of the Emirates Hospital - a 1,000-bed integrated specialty medical centre. Catering to Pakistani military personnel and their families, as well as civilians with critical conditions, the facility has the capacity to receive 6,000 patients daily. The hospital features administrative and service departments, emergency care units, outpatient clinics, laboratories, and lecture halls to train military personnel and civilians in performing medical duties.
ADFD also allocated AED13 million to fit out the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore with modern equipment in compliance with best international standards in 2006.
In line with the Pakistani government’s development goals, ADFD has played a crucial role in enhancing the country’s education sector. In 2013, the Fund financed AED46 million training colleges. The project involved the construction of three training colleges in remote areas - Warsak College in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as well as Wana College and Cadet College Spinkai, both in South Waziristan.
In addition, ADFD earmarked AED14 million to fund expansion works at the Sheikh Zayed International Academy, SZIA, in Islamabad in 2009.
To ensure an adequate and reliable power supply, ADFD funded AED66 million rehabilitate Tarbela Dam in 1981.