Building infrastructure vital for Pakistan’s sustainability


InfraZamin collaborated with Nutshell Group to jointly host Pakistan’s first ever Infrastructure Summit at a local hotel in Karachi. Infrastructure development helps reduce unemployment and stimulates economic growth.

In his welcome address, Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder & CEO, Nutshell Group, and former Minister of State & Chairman, Board of Investment, said, “For infrastructure, we need political stability for an empowered public sector funding and though there is a huge potential for economic growth through foreign direct investment, we need to focus on the local investors first and mobilize that money on priority.”

Maheen Rehman, CEO, InfraZamin, emphasized the importance of infrastructure development. She said that as a country of 220 million people, we should be spending 10% of our GDP for developing the infrastructure on an annual basis, whereas our current spending is less than 2%. She highlighted the need for rigorous development in the areas of education, health, and agriculture. Continuing the discussion, Layth Al-Falaki, CEO GuarantCo, said.,

“Development now is ‘climate resilience’ and Pakistan being a frontline state for climate crisis needs to inbuild the SDGs into its vision. Now is the right time to invest in climate-resilient projects to rebuild infrastructure in the country.” Corroborating on the same, Jo Moir, Development Director Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office in British High Commission Islamabad, stated, “Due to Pakistan’s severe climate vulnerability, we believe in not only providing the right infrastructure for climate resilience but also assisting in the transition to decarbonization.”

The Chief Guest, Governor State Bank Pakistan, Jameel Ahmad, added the tangent of Green Economy by elaborating on the sustainable initiatives of the State Bank; “On behalf of SBP, I assure you that we will continue to promote sustainable infrastructure financing and facilitate the financial institutions.” Talking about the disastrous floods in Pakistan, Mr. Ahmad highlighted that the country needs USD 16 billion to overcome the devastation. Besides post-flood rehabilitation and development, the country also needs economic feasibility for health, food, water, and agriculture.

He further expounded that the investment opportunities in Pakistan are very limited, whereas the need for investment is much more. Measures to promote a climate-resilient economy will be the game changers and he was happy to note that many banks had already initiated green banking guidelines.

Talking about the lessons from the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) experience on blended finance, Layth Al-Falaki, CEO GuarantCo, said, “At PIDG, we walk the talk, and that sets us apart because we start with a risk appetite.