Impact of Covid-19 more pronounced in emerging markets, says Khusro Bakhtyar 

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Tuesday said that the impact of Covid-19 is more pronounced in emerging markets and developing countries. 

The minister said this while addressing the annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

“The pandemic has caused severe disruptions in the global economic system and stress on the health infrastructure. The impact is more pronounced in case of emerging markets and developing countries,” he said.

The minister further appreciated AIIB’s Covid-19 Crisis Response Facility which was announced to support the economies of the member countries.

He said that the AIIB should take the lead in technological and Information Technology (IT) related infrastructure in the short to medium term horizon particularly in sectors like education, health and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the post covid scenario.

He also expressed hope that AIIB would enhance climate financing and provision of primary physical infrastructure for water and sanitation and rural connectivity for developing countries. 

The federal minister also mentioned that the development of basic infrastructure in countries within Asia and beyond had remained a priority for the bank.

Currently, due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, fiscal space declines even further with rising domestic spending and exchange rate movements against the US dollar in the Asian countries.

In this situation infrastructure financing has been sustained by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) including AIIB; and by leveraging on Public Private Partnership (PPP) potential.

In his closing remarks, the minister expressed the hope that AIIB, being a relatively new MDB, should provide innovative solutions to satisfy the needs of its clients and fulfill its mandate.

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