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April 11, 2019

Asad meets WB, IMF, US treasury high-ups

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April 11, 2019

WASHINGTON: Minister for Finance Asad Umar and his team held meetings with the World Bank and the IMF high-level officials here on Wednesday on the sidelines of the scheduled annual IMF Spring moot.

The finance minister's delegation includes State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa, Finance Secretary Younas Dagha, Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed and others. The delegation reached the US capital on Tuesday evening and is expected to stay for two days.

The delegation discussed various economic and development projects with the World Bank president, as well as with the Executive Director and Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, according to the Embassy officials. The finance minister also met the World Bank’s Vice President for SouthAsia Region. He was scheduled to sit with the Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury. The finance minister chaired a meeting with the members of the US-Pakistan Council to explore investment opportunities and prospects in Pakistan.

Asad Umar is also expected to further deliberate on terms of a multiple year support funding from the IMF. Before leaving Islamabad, he had declared that the talks with the IMF for a funding package was in final stages.

On the other hand, the IMF sent out its World Economic Outlook projecting that Pakistan's growth prospects float around 2.5 percent by 2024. Although, Pakistan has not finalised the terms and amount of funding as yet, the Director Communications of the IMF, Gerry Rice, told media outlets earlier this year that Pakistan has already made a formal request for financial assistance from the organisation. "Where we stand is that IMF staff are continuing discussions with the Pakistani authorities, with our counterparts, towards reaching an understanding on policy priorities, on reforms to stabilise the economy and lay the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth," he had said.

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