Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar appreciated the $4.2 billion support the United States has been providing under Pakistan Enhanced Partnership Agreement (PEPA) since 2010.
He was talking to USAID Mission Director Julie Koenan in a virtual meeting in Islamabad held to discuss US-Pakistan bilateral economic cooperation.
Ms Koenan assured continued US economic assistance to Pakistan.
Bakhtyar extended warm wishes for the new US administration and expressed the hope for working towards strong and fruitful relationship.
Ms Koenan highlighted the government of Pakistan’s recent steps towards efficient utilisation of foreign economic assistance and assured that the US would continue to support Pakistan.
The minister lauded the US government’s humanitarian support to Pakistan in fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
He highlighted EHSAAS, government’s flagship social sector programme, and Ms Koenan shared that the US has allocated financial assistance for the programme.
The minister reiterated the need for allocation of unutilised USAID funds for priority areas, such as Billion Tsunami Tree Project, Climate Change, Low Cost Housing and development of newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He also reiterated the significance of enhanced partnership and importance of regional connectivity to Central Asia via Afghanistan for greater regional integration.
The minister said that the government of Pakistan is financing important projects like Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC) and CASA-1000 for regional connectivity. He suggested to mobilise more financial resources for regional connectivity through private sector and US Development Finance Corporation.
The minister emphasized the need for further strengthening bilateral economic ties with a resolve to work closely in designing future interventions. Ms Koenan also expressed strong commitment for working towards greater collaboration with Pakistan’s leadership and people.