Islamabad (November 07, 2018): Seven member of International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation have arrived in Pakistan for 2 weeks visit. The delegation is headed by Harald Finger.
The IMF Delegation will stay in Pakistan till November 20 and would finalize the conditions for the loan.
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Pakistan will begin talks with the International Monetary Fund today over bailout package to help end a spiralling current account crisis.
Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Bureau of Pakistan (FBR) and other institutions officials would participate in talks with IMF.
It is expected that IMF would be briefed regarding taxation schemes and crackdown against tax evaders. In case of successful talks, Pakistan can avail 6 to $8b loan. Earlier yesterday (November 06), Finance Minister Asad Umar said in his press conference that Pakistan’s “balance of payment crisis is over” as for the short-term relief talks being continued with China.
Addressing press conference accompanied with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi he said that China is committed to providing short-term relief to Pakistan while modalities will be discussed in a new round of discussions in Beijing on Friday.
“The long-term solution to the balance of payment crisis is to increase our exports, and to do that we should have enough income so that we do not need to borrow,” Umar, who was a part of the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led delegation that visited China recently, explained.“Regarding the doubling of our exports, we are not talking long-term. We have [this target] for the ongoing year. We have also discussed short-term reliefs. A decision in principle has been taken, but to discuss its modalities our contingent is going to Beijing on the 9th.
Furthermore, he revealed that a top delegation is scheduled to visit China on November 9 adding that it will be inclusive of the State Bank governor and the aim of the visit would be to settle features in reference to balance of outflows in China.
“So this curiosity that the people have will also be resolved soon. We had told you about the $12bn financing gap, of which $6bn have come from Saudi Arabia, and the rest has come from China so the immediate balance of payment crisis of Pakistan has ended. I want to make that clear in unequivocal terms. We do not have any balance of payment crisis now. ”
A statement released by the finance ministry echoed Umar’s remarks, adding that “a senior level delegation comprising of federal secretaries of finance, foreign affairs, planning & development and commerce along with the State Bank of Pakistan’s governor will undertake a visit to China during the current week to work out the modalities”.
Qureshi Terms PM’s China Visit Productive
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that the trip was “productive to the extent that we are out of the woods”.
Addressing a press conference, flanked by Finance Minister Asad Umar and Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal in Islamabad, he said the visit was aimed at achieving four objectives and to dismiss rumours that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was not giving due importance to the relationship with China.
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“We wanted to send a clear message to the international community that we are close to China. Secondly, our relations are unique and will remain so. This tour helped in moving the strategic relationship to an economic partnership,” he remarked.
“I think the tour was very beneficial in a bid to give it an economic dimension. Around 15 agreements and MoUs have been signed at the end of the tour which included that the strategic dialogue between the two sides be upgraded and now it will be upgraded to the foreign ministers level.”
“Another MoU was regarding poverty alleviation. China has immense experience in this regard,” said the foreign minister.“We decided that our strategic dialogue must be upgraded and its level be raised to the FM level,” he said. “It was also decided to transfer our citizens sentenced there and theirs sentenced here so that they could serve their sentences in their own countries.
“Thirdly, the MoU which is important to me is poverty alleviation. China is a country that has taken 700 million people out poverty in the last 30 years. One-third of our population also lives below the poverty line — so the purpose of this MoU was to learn from the Chinese experience.”The fourth MoU was regarding agricultural cooperation,” he said. “We think that through the transfer of technology, we can get a lot from China. We can learn how to increase our productivity and our per-acre produce.”
“This visit helped us in moving our relationship towards an economic partnership. We have always had good strategic relations so our aim [this time] was to figure how to advance the economic footprint.”
The foreign minister said he is confident that the discussion with the Chinese counterparts would help Pakistan “double its exports”.He further said that the two sides would try and wrap up the second phase of the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by April 2019.