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Pakistan to improve road and rail links with World Bank funding

The World Bank has approved a $25M loan to help Pakistan improve its trade and transport logistics.

The bank’s second trade and transportf facilitation project will provide technical advice to help implement the National Trade Corridor Improvement Program (NTCIP), a government programme designed to cut the cost and of exporting and importing goods and the time taken to move them in an out of the country. The programme involves reforms and investments in highways, ports, airports and railways.

“Over the past decade, the government of Pakistan has done much to improve its trade procedures and logistics services, said World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Yusupha Crookes. “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 Pakistan government’s poverty reduction strategy for 2009-2011 identifies as essential the removal of infrastructure bottlenecks. The aim is to make road transport faster and more reliable tand to help railways regain their competitiveness against road transport 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.”

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