ISLAMABAD: Pakistan for the first time has become one of the five countries in the world with the most investment in the first half-year of 2020, a World Bank report said.
“Pakistan had the fourth highest investment commitments–a new entrant to the top five countries this year—with US$1.9 billion of investment commitments, accounting for 0.69 percent of GDP,” the Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) 2020 Half Yearly Report said.
The report had termed the current year’s Private Participation in Infrastructure as unprecedented because of COVID-19 which has brought many sectors, including infrastructure, to a near standstill.
Since the beginning of 2020, existing infrastructure projects were delayed or canceled due to supply chain disruptions, travel and shipping restrictions, and other obstacles.
Total commitments in the first half of 2020 stood at US$21.9 billion across 128 projects in 34 countries, a decline of 56 percent from the same period in 2019.
COVID-19 has significantly decreased financial closures of investment projects across the globe, particularly in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region.
The Thar power plant in Pakistan and the pipeline in Mexico were the only two megaprojects around the world to reach financial closure in the first half-year of 2020.
The coal power project was developed under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is part of an effort by the Government of Pakistan to improve energy security and reduce the average cost of power generation by transitioning from oil to coal.
The report added that the South Asian Region (SAR) was the region with the second highest H1 2020 investment level (US$4.9 billion), driven by Pakistan (US$1.9 billion), India (US$1.8 billion), and Bangladesh (US$1.2 billion).