Islamabad: A meeting took place Tuesday between the Minister for Economic Affairs, Ahad Khan Cheema, and Jo Moir, the Development Director of the British High Commission in Pakistan.

She was accompanied by Rizwan Azam, Team Leader of the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). Senior officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs also attended the meeting.

The Minister for Economic Affairs expressed his gratitude to the Development Director of the British High Commission in Pakistan for the continued support and assistance provided to the people of Pakistan. He specifically acknowledged the FCDO’s role in providing critical aid during the 2022 floods and their support for the International Partners’ Support Group (IPSG). The minister reiterated the commitment of the Government of Pakistan to ongoing cooperation with the FCDO for the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

The Development Director thanked the Minister for the strong partnership and collaborative efforts addressing issues such as poverty reduction, climate change, financing instruments, and the strengthening of financial management and accountability. She agreed to enhance the cooperation between the Government of Pakistan and the FCDO in these key areas and assured her full support in exploring innovative green financing instruments to address climate change and support social sector initiatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. During the meeting, Minister Cheema discussed strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Pakistan’s bureaucracy, highlighting the importance of a well-trained workforce in achieving national development goals. He proposed exploring training programs based on the UK bureaucracy to build the capacity of Pakistan’s bureaucratic system.

The Development Director welcomed the idea, indicating a willingness to discuss how to support this effort. She also outlined areas where the UK’s expertise in public administration could be utilized for strengthening the capacity of Pakistan’s bureaucratic system. In his concluding remarks, the Minister thanked the esteemed guest and her team, emphasizing the need for increased financial support, particularly in climate finance, disaster mitigation, and flood rehabilitation and reconstruction. He also highlighted the importance of better visibility of off-budget projects and alignment between FCDO projects and national development objectives to drive socio-economic progress in Pakistan.