Islamabad (APP): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Ms. Xiaohong Yang as new Country Director for Pakistan.

According to ADB press statement, Ms. Yang, who assumed office on April 24, 2017, is ADB’s first woman Country Director in Pakistan as well as the first national of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Sean O’Sullivan, Director General for Central and West Asia at ADB said, “I am very pleased to announce Ms. Yang as ADB’s new Country Director for Pakistan.”

O’Sullivan added, “Pakistan’s recent growth and development has been impressive. With further economic and structural reforms taking place and new opportunities emerging, Ms. Yang will bring to this key position strategic leadership and considerable experience in the region to support this transformation.”

Ms. Yang will lead the implementation of ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy 2015-2019 for Pakistan, which focuses on infrastructure development and institutional reforms.

The statement further added that ADB has lent an average of $1.5 billion per year to Pakistan over the last three years.

Ms. Yang will spearhead ADB operations in Pakistan to support the country’s development goals through regional initiatives such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Central Asian Regional Cooperation (CAREC).

Ms. Yang said, “Pakistan has a fast improving economy led by a youthful, dynamic workforce. ADB is committed to assist the country to boost growth and spur job creation through our support to energy, transport, agriculture, urban services, and public private partnerships.”

She added, “I am looking forward to working with the government, private sector, development partners, civil society, and other stakeholders to help Pakistan achieve its development targets.”

Ms. Yang’s professional experience in development spans over three decades, during which she managed complex infrastructure-related assignments covering a diverse portfolio including highways, railways, waterways, cross border logistics projects and PPPs.

Prior to joining ADB in 1999, Ms. Yang also served at the World Bank from 1994 to 1998, according to the statement.

She holds a graduate degree in Economics from Beijing University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Finance from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, PRC.

Ms. Yang replaces the outgoing Country Director Werner E. Liepach, who served in Pakistan since 2011, and who has now returned to ADB Headquarters in the Philippines, the statement added.