Finance Minister Pun off to the US to attend WB and IMF meetings

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Kathmandu, April 15: Minister of Finance Barshaman Pun left for the United States to attend a joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Minister Pun left for Washington DC via Qatar Airways this morning leading a four-member delegation, Minister Pun’s secretariat informed.

The delegation comprises Chief of the Ministry’s International Economic Cooperation and Coordination Division Sri Krishna Nepal, Under-Secretary Kanchan Basnet, who looks after the WB desk under the same division, and another Under-Secretary Bhupal Raj Shakya, who is also the personal secretary of Minister Pun.

During the three-day US visit, Minister Pun will meet WB’s Managing Director Anna Bjerde, WB’s Vice President for the South Asia Martin Riser, WB’s Vice President for Development Finance (DFI) Operations Akihiko Nishio, WB’s Vice President for Infrastructure Guangzhe Chen, Vice President of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Ricardo Puliti and Assistant Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Bo Li.

Minister Pun is scheduled to hold separate meetings with high-placed officials of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), officials of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFP), American Chamber of Commerce President Atul Kasyap, representatives of the private sector and non-resident Nepalis.

Minister Pun will address the ministerial meeting of Group V-20 of the countries threatened by the impact of climate change as the keynote speaker. V-20 is a forum to raise voice in the global community to mitigate climate change risks and increase financial support during the transition period in the global economy.

Minister Pun will attend the sideline meeting on high-level climate nexus and session on clean energy transition in South Asia as well as various bilateral and multilateral meetings.

In the meeting, Minister Pun will discuss preparations for the International Development Association (IDA)-21 meeting under the World Bank Group to be held in Kathmandu in June, determining the priority of investment partnership to be made by the World Bank in Nepal for the next five years, financial management of the 1,063 MW Upper Arun Semi-Reservoir Hydropower Project to be constructed in Sankhuwasabha and other projects in the pipeline.

Minister Pun had held discussions with Energy Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising and resident chiefs of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in Kathmandu a few days ago.

It was agreed in the meeting that the financial management of the Upper Arun Project would be done as soon as possible. The World Bank is leading the financial management of Upper Arun, which is a ‘game changer’ project.

In the meeting of the World Bank and IMF, Minister Pun will apprise the development partners and the private sector, including the World Bank, about the reform efforts made by the government to create an investment-friendly environment in Nepal.

aMinister Pun said that the development partners would be urged to increase support to Nepal’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and reconstruction of physical infrastructure, health, education, reconstruction of buildings of private houses and educational institutions damaged due to the earthquake in Jajarkot, Rukum and Bajhang. According to him, discussions will be held towards making effective implementation of the assistance being received from international development partners for policy reforms and identifying further areas and potentials of the areas of cooperation.