WASHINGTON: Finance Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Aurangzeb has ruled out any further significant rupee devaluation ahead of talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue held a detailed meeting with US officials including Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State Elizabeth Horst and discussed ways to bolster economic partnership between Islamabad and Washington.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan and other officials were also present in the meeting. The meeting was held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington where the finance minister briefed the US officials on Pakistan’s reform agenda. Both sides were in agreement to further strengthen Pak-US relations. The finance minister also stressed upgrading Pakistan-US economic partnership.

Aurangzeb-led team to meet US official Donald Lu?

Alternative energy, agriculture, climate and tech industry issues were also discussed in the meeting.

Aurangzeb also discussed investment opportunities in IT, agriculture and other sectors with the US officials, saying Pakistan will work together with US International Development Finance Corporation and with Exim Bank.

The minister also informed Donald Lu, who the PTI blamed for plotting the overthrow of the Imran Khan’s government, about the economic reforms the Pakistan government is undertaking. The minister attended the Middle East and North Africa (MENAP) Ministers and Governors meeting with the Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to a press release.

He thanked IMF, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and its time-tested sincere bilateral partners for their support in helping the country respond to unprecedented challenges.

He further underscored aggressive reforms including broadening the tax net, privatizing loss making SOEs, expanding social safety net and facilitating the private sector. He also underlined the importance of re-channeling of SDRs, review of surcharges policy and prioritizing the RST in view of climate vulnerabilities.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb has ruled out any further significant rupee devaluation ahead of talks with International Monetary Fund.

Speaking at roundtable meeting with Bloomberg team in Washington, he said there is no reason for rupee devaluation as Pakistan has solid foreign-exchange reserves, stable currency, rising remittances and steady exports.

The Minister said the government is focusing on bolstering industries, agriculture and information technology sector to push the national growth above four percent in the coming years.

In a high-profile meeting held at the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank 2024 Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Muhammad Aurangzeb emphasized the need for a robust financial safety net and capacity building to address geo-economic impacts and climate vulnerabilities.

Speaking at the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) Ministers and Governors meeting with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, the minister called for a more proactive and responsive Global Financial Safety Net to tackle elevated risks, according to press statement issued by finance ministry here Thursday.

He underlined the importance of re-channeling Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), reviewing the surcharges policy, and prioritizing the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) in view of Pakistan’s climate vulnerabilities.

The minister also welcomed the IMF’s renewed emphasis on capacity building through Regional Capacity Development Centers (RCDCs). He highlighted the impact of geo-economic fragmentation on Pakistan’s economy and expressed gratitude to the IMF, multilateral development banks, and bilateral partners for their support in helping the country respond to unprecedented challenges.

He underscored the government’s aggressive reform agenda, including broadening the tax net, privatizing loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs), expanding the social safety net, and facilitating the private sector.

According to statement, Assistant Secretary US State Department, Donald Lu and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ms. Elizabeth Horst met Finance Minister at WB headquarters to underline the political will in Washington to strengthen Pak-US ties.

The emphasis during the meeting was on upgrading economic partnerships, with special emphasis on alternate energy, agriculture, climate resilience, and tech industry. He briefed them on Pakistan’s reform agenda encompassing broadening the tax base, streamlining the energy sector and fast-tracking the privatization process of state-owned enterprises.

He identified emerging opportunities for American investments in IT, renewables, agriculture and minerals extraction and said that Pakistan will work closely with US International Development Finance Corporation and Exim Bank.

Likewise, the minister had a productive meeting with representatives from Deutsche Bank during which he appreciated the long-standing support extended by Deutsche Bank to Pakistan in various financial endeavors.

The representatives from Deutsche Bank briefed the Minister on different transaction structures that could assist the government in accessing international capital markets effectively. A key area of discussion was the establishment of a Sustainable Finance Framework for the issuance of green or sustainability bonds.

The minister also met Fund-Bank Staff Association and Vice Chairman, Public Sector, JP Morgan, Daniel M Zelikow.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb appreciated Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA’s) continued support to Pakistan in attracting foreign investments. He met with Hiroshi Matano, Executive Vice President, MIGA, said a press release issued in Islamabad and discussed the ongoing economic reforms, investment climate and measures to enhance investor confidence in Pakistan.

The minister also briefed Executive Vice President of MIGA about the efforts being made to resolve the issues of Korean investment company in Pakistan.

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