In Islamabad: Mariam Altaf (92-51) 2279641
In Washington: Erik Nora (202) 458 4735
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 ─ The World Bank today approved a US$25 million IDA credit to help Pakistan improve its trade and transport logistics.
The Second Trade and Transport Facilitation Project will provide technical advisory services to help implement the National Trade Corridor Improvement Program (NTCIP), a comprehensive Government program designed to significantly cut the cost and time of exporting and importing goods. The program encompasses services, infrastructure, reforms and investments in highways, trucking, ports and maritime transport, air transport, railways, and trade facilitation.
“Over the past decade, the Government of Pakistan has done much to improve its trade procedures and logistics services, said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “Further improvements will help boost trade, strengthen economic growth and ultimately reduce poverty. Strong implementation of the NTCIP is vital to bring the quality of transport services to international standards. This project will provide an important analytical foundation necessary to execute the reform agenda and investments for this program.”
The Government of Pakistan recognizes that transport and trade logistics efficiencies are necessary for economic growth. This is emphasized in the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2009-2011 which identifies removal of infrastructure bottlenecks as one of the key pillars of the strategy. The objective is to make road transport services faster and more reliable to allow export companies to meet short deadlines by international buyers; to help railways regain their competitiveness against road transport in order to satisfy potential demand for freight transport; to reduce port costs compared to other ports in the region; to facilitate customs procedures; and to make air transport capable of responding to the growing demand resulting from a growing economy.
The project builds on the results achieved by the World Bank’s first Trade and Transport Facilitation Project, which closed in 2006, and will extend efforts to streamline and integrate trade data exchange and strengthen cooperation between public and private sectors at regional, national and local level. It will also assist Pakistan in the World Trade Organization negotiations on trade facilitation.
“At the world level, as an integrated and well coordinated program, NTCIP can be considered a best practice example of a corridor program. The NTCIP is extremely important to Pakistan’s economy,” said Jean-Noel Guillossou, World Bank Senior Transport Economist and project co-team leader. “After all, most of Pakistan’s external and internal trade transits through the National Trade Corridor (NTC). Ports, roads and railways along the NTC handle 95 percent of external trade.”
The NTC serves domestic needs and links Pakistan’s main industrial centers and neighboring countries with international markets through the ports of Pakistan.
For more information on the Bank’s work in Pakistan, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org.pk