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Thursday February 22, 2024

Top IMF official sees improvement in Pakistan’s economic situation

Bahador Bijani says Pakistan authorities have delivered on economic front

By Business Desk
December 07, 2023
Pakistans Ambassador Masood Khan (centre) addressing an event along with officials of IFIs at Pakistan House in Washington on December 7, 2023. — X/@Masood__Khan
Pakistan's Ambassador Masood Khan (centre) addressing an event along with officials of IFIs at Pakistan House in Washington on December 7, 2023. — X/@Masood__Khan

A top International Monetary Fund (IMF) official has praised Pakistani authorities for delivering on the economic front while observing improvement in the economic conditions of the country.

Bahador Bijani, an Executive Director of IMF, stated this at an event hosted by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US in honour of friends of Pakistan at Pakistan House in Washington, according to an official statement issued on Thursday.

Officials from the IMF, International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank (WB), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) attended the event.

“Pakistani authorities have delivered. I think the future for Pakistan is very bright. Pakistan is not just any country. It's one of the most important countries in the region and the world. Pakistanis deserve much more,” the IMF executive director was quoted as saying in the statement.

The meeting took place as Islamabad awaits the IMF board's meeting to approve a staff-level agreement on the first review of a $3 billion bailout, which will unlock $700 million in funding for the country.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Masood Khan observed that the past year was difficult for Pakistan. “We have passed through a wrenching transition and we are moving toward a new phase of stability,” he added.

“Have faith in Pakistan. Our country is destined to succeed,” he said.

“Our confidence stems from the people of Pakistan. We have a growing middle class and our human capital is increasing at a very fast pace,” he added.

Addressing a gathering of over 40 guests from the IFIs, the ambassador said that we were grateful to IFIs for their steadfast support in navigating through a difficult economic period.

Nathan Porter, IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan, speaking on the occasion, expressed satisfaction over the recently concluded staff-level agreement. He said that the actions and policies of the current government reflected its commitment to steer the country towards stabilisation.

“With that base, hopefully, we can build on and be able to move forward to reforms to build a stronger, prosperous and inclusive Pakistan,” he said.

He also appreciated the cooperation and the policies pursued by the State Bank of Pakistan for ensuring fiscal stability in the country.

Athanasios Arvanitis, Deputy Director Middle East and Central Asia Department IMF, also spoke on the occasion and expressed the hope that the elections in Pakistan would usher into a new beginning of undertaking a reform process that the country needed to make progress and address some of its structural issues.

Thanking them for their strong support, Ambassador Khan observed that the digitisation of Pakistan's economy was creating new opportunities in the country for its youth and professionals taking the lead role in steering the country towards a bright future.

Lauding the professional achievements of Pakistanis working in the IFIs, the ambassador observed that Pakistani professionals have proved their mettle and have made the entire nation proud of their accomplishments.

“We are a nation of talented people. If you can make it, Pakistan will also make it,” observed the ambassador.

Syed Ali Abbas, Advisor Mission Chief UK, European Department IMF, in his remarks, expressed the hope that with the successful completion of the electoral process in Pakistan, the country would move towards a long-term and more durable approach which would change the trajectory of Pakistan.

Aftab Qureshi from the World Bank and Sidra Rehman from the IMF also spoke on the occasion and assured their continued cooperation.

The ambassador thanked the members of the IFIs and said that the country looked forward to working with its development partners.