Asian Bank, DFID to support economic corridor programme

Islamabad: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support the government’s strategy to strengthen regional connectivity and provide technical assistance for a project aimed at mapping out potential economic corridors to enhance trade, growth and job creation.

The assistance would come under the ‘Pakistan Economic Corridors Programme’ (PECP) agreed upon by ADB and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.

DFID would contribute up to 262 million pounds of grant co-financing for ADB’s operations in these areas.

The outcome of technical assistance will be the identification of viable economic corridors for further assessment and planning. A report will be finalised with prioritisation of about four potential economic corridors which have synergy with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and ADB investments, starting with the investments under PECP.

The four investments include M4 motorway linking Faisalabad and Multan in Central Punjab, N70 and N50 national highways linking Balochistan with the rest of the country, and E35 expressway from Islamabad to Mansehra and onward to China and the Central Asian Republics. The proposed technical assistance aims to identify a few viable economic corridors in Pakistan for subsequent detailed assessment under a larger technical assistance.

This assistance is aligned with ADB’s country partnership strategy (2015-19) and is included in the Country Operation Business Plan for 2016-28.

The final report will provide the rationale for selection of each of prioritised corridors, including a description of alignment with government plans; the nodes along the corridor, their characteristics in terms of population size and density, the nature of economic activities, and other relevant economic and social indicators; transport and trade facilitation; and an initial assessment of economic thrusts for each corridor, and their strengths and weaknesses.