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Pakistan to initiate reforms, PM assures UK investors

By News Desk
September 26, 2023

LONDON: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has assured British investors that Pakistan is committed to the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and will undertake reforms as per its commitment with the global lender.

According to the PM Office on Monday, the interim premier made the assurance during his meeting with “senior leaders of London’s capital and financial market” at the Pakistan House.

The notable investment firms represented at this gathering included Fidelity International Limited, Wellington Management, Ashmore, Jefferies International, Redwheel Capital, Switex Industrial SA, Oxford Frontier Capital, GuarantCo, JP Morgan, Kalrock Capital, and UBL UK.

In their meeting, the British investors enquired about the continuity of the IMF programme in Pakistan and reform efforts from the short- to medium-term. “The prime minister assured them that Pakistan had expressed its commitment to the IMF programme by undertaking reforms committed with the IMF. The investors expressed their keen interest in exploring promising investment opportunities in the financial and capital market of Pakistan, reflecting a growing mutual interest in expanding economic collaboration,” the statement said.

The interim PM also highlighted Pakistan’s pro-investment efforts including the formation of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). He briefed the delegation on Pakistan’s current economic landscape and highlighted the government’s measures for external account improvement.

“Recent administrative actions strengthened the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, fostering optimism for stability,” the interim premier said. He added that the positive indicators, including inflows from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and friendly nations, contributed to reduced inflation, stabilised reserves, and revival of industrial growth.

He also spoke about the potential for foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s key sectors and the positive impact of the stand-by arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, exceeding expectations and stabilising the economy and currency.

Kakar also highlighted economic improvements such as reduced inflation with expected sustained decline, and upcoming growth in agriculture and industry. He mentioned improved trade after the removal of restrictions on imports and fiscal measures for monetary support and medium-term inflation targets.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with leading British businessman and co-founder and executive chairman of Boohoo Group Abdullah Kamani, the caretaker prime minister, highlighting Pakistan’s pro-investment policies and facilities, urged the UK-based group to consider opening buying houses in Pakistan.

Kakar emphasised the advantages of investment in Pakistan and extended an invitation to Boohoo Group to send a buying delegation to Pakistan for enhanced collaboration.

In the meeting, Kamani expressed keen interest in establishing long-term buying linkages with Pakistan and the ambition to create a comprehensive supply chain in the country, encompassing organic cotton to apparel production.

They also hoped for improved Pakistan-UK air connectivity to facilitate increased imports from Pakistan. Kakar conveyed Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating investment and offered support in establishing manufacturing facilities within the country, particularly within Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The meeting marked a significant step towards enhancing economic cooperation and trade between Pakistan and the firm. Boohoo Group is a prominent British online fashion retailer with annual sales exceeding one billion pounds, with a wide range of popular brands including boohooMAN, Pretty Little Thing (PLT), Miss Pap, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis, and Debenhams.