Thursday, December 07, 2023
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Pakistani authorities have ‘delivered’ on economic front, says top IMF official

IMF Executive Director Bahador Bijani acknowledges improvement in Pakistan's economic situation

Pakistans Ambassador Masood Khan (centre) along with officials of IFIs
Pakistan's Ambassador Masood Khan (centre) along with officials of IFIs  

  • IMF official says Pakistan 'important' country in the world.
  • "Our country is destined to succeed," says Masood Khan.
  • Nathan Porter hails actions and policies of Pakistani govt. 


WASHINGTON: Bahador Bijani, an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has noted an overall improvement in the economic situation, saying, the “Pakistani authorities have delivered”.

He made these remarks at an event hosted by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US in honour of friends of Pakistan from International Financial Institutions including IMF, International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank (WB), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), at Pakistan House in Washington.

“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 in the world. Pakistanis deserve much more,” the IMF executive director was quoted as saying in an official 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.