Generating sustainable economic growth and employment in Pakistan


Generating economic growth is the centre-piece of the Pakistan Government's Vision 2025 statement. Achieving higher growth rates will depend on Pakistan's ability to address the structural and emerging constraints holding Pakistan back, including energy shortages and the need for comprehensive economic reform. Engaging women in economic growth is a priority of Vision 2025, and a core policy priority for Australia. Australia will focus its investments on women's economic empowerment through livelihood development, inclusive trade reform, access to finance, and by enhancing women's decision-making authority.

Pakistan has prioritised enhanced trade and investment with neighbouring countries and is committed to better exploiting Pakistan's strategic location as a regional hub to connect South and Central Asian markets. Australia is supporting the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce to promote inclusive trade and investment through: strengthening trade policies and institutions; modernising customs systems; and introducing regulatory reforms to increase trade at key border posts, and support Small to Medium Enterprises (particularly women owned).

Australia will support Pakistan to address constraints to job creation. In rural areas, we will increase livelihood opportunities for poor men and women. Australia will draw on its world-class expertise to help Pakistan enhance agricultural productivity and expand revenue streams for farmers, including through improved water management practices, adding value to raw agricultural products and improved access to markets for those products. Australia's investments promote skills and livelihood development to improve access to employment and markets, particularly for women and the most vulnerable. This will also contribute to improving Pakistan's food security and nutrition levels, and women's economic empowerment.

Related initiatives

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Market Development Program

$5 million, 2015-2018

Delivered by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP), (a local NGO), this program builds on the Livelihood Strengthening Program (phase one) to promote women's economic empowerment and market development for the poor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The program aims to increase employment opportunities, market access and incomes for poor and marginalised groups, and ensure increased participation of women in economic activities.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Pakistan Livelihood Strengthening Program in Border Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (SRSP) Evaluation Report 2014 Evaluation of Phase 1
SRSP Design Document 2015 Design Document

Related links

The Market Development Facility

Phase I, $9.4 million, 2013-2017

The Market Development Facility aims to create additional jobs and increase income for poor women and men by partnering with the private sector to stimulate investment, business innovation and regulatory reform. It focuses on increasing the competitiveness of sectors and industries that involve poor and marginalised people, primarily in the agriculture sector.

Phase II, $9 million 2018-22

Key changes in Phase II of the Market Development Facility include an increased emphasis on systemic change and striving for results at scale, clearer communication about how it addresses gender issues, and more robust efforts to drive evidence-based learning.

Related links

Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program

$9 million, 2016-2020

The Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program (AVCCR) is delivered by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). It improves agricultural productivity and enhances livelihoods by linking Australian and Pakistani expertise to small-holder farmers, particularly in goat meat, pulses, dairy and beef industries.

Related links

Australian Assistance to Agriculture Development in Balochistan Border Areas

Phase I, $12.88 million, 2012-2017

The Australian Assistance to Agriculture in Balochistan Border Areas (AusABBA) program aims to promote sustainable development among marginal and small-scale producers as well as food traders and exporters, to reduce poverty and address economic inequalities. The project targets six districts of western Balochistan incorporating Chagai, Kech, Kharan, Nushki, Panjgur and Washuk. AusABBA is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Phase II, $22 million 2017-2023

AusABBA Phase II will build on the achievements of AusABBA Phase I, by deepening systemic support for agriculture and market development in the districts of Chagahai, Kech, Kharan, Nushki, Panjgur and Washuk with clear objectives around nutrition and gender outcomes. AusABBA II will further strengthen the more mature and market oriented Farmers Marketing Collectivess and Mutual Marketing Organisations to become sustainable small agribusinesses.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
AusABBA Project Proposal 2012 Design
AusABBA Phase II 2017 Design

Related links

Pakistan Trade and Investment Policy Program

$9.9 million, 2015-2018

Delivered by the World Bank, the Pakistan Trade and Investment Policy Program supports Pakistan in its efforts to increase regional trade and investment, with a particular focus on strengthening links to other South Asian markets. The program supports the Ministry of Commerce to develop a regional trade strategy and strengthen its capacity to implement trade reforms. It also focuses on facilitating trade at key border posts by reducing time, cost and documentation required to process exports/imports.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
PTIPP Design Document 2015 Design Document
PTIPP Independent Review and Management Response 2017 Independent Review and Management Response

Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) Program

Phase I, $4 million, 2013-2016, Phase II, $11 million, 2017-2020

The Pakistan program co-invests in the South Asia regional Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP), focused on inter-related issues of transboundary water, energy and food security in South Asia. The program in the Indus Basin supports Pakistan’s water resources and energy management.

Water Resources Management

Implemented by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the program aims to help the Government of Pakistan improve river basin planning and to develop water management model of the Indus Basin and apply it in policy-making.

Energy Policy and Markets

Implemented by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank the program aims to address market constraints to the expansion of renewable energy, sustainable growth of the power grid system and deepening of the off-grid market and to support the adoption of energy efficiency approaches by governments and industry.

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 19 January 2018