IMF’s Lagarde Confirms Support for Pakistan’s Economy After Meeting With PM Imran

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in her meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan said, on Sunday, said that IMF stands ready to support Pakistan in its efforts to restore the resilience of its economy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had a meeting with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

In a statement issued by the IMF, Lagarde said “I had a good and constructive meeting with Prime Minister Khan, during which we discussed recent economic developments and prospects for Pakistan in the context of ongoing discussions toward an IMF-supported program.”

She highlighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms will enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth.

Lagarde further added that protecting the poor and strengthening governance are key priorities to improve people’s living standards in a sustainable manner.

The Prime Minister appreciated IMF’s support to Pakistan and shared his vision for nation-building. He reiterated the government’s commitment to undertake structural and governance reforms and strengthening social protection in the country.

It further stated that the IMF Managing Director acknowledged the steps taken so far by the Pakistan Government to stabilize the economy. She said the IMF will remain engaged in supporting Pakistan in sustaining its economic recovery.

The two sides agreed to work together on policy priorities and reforms aimed at reducing imbalances and laying the foundations of a job-creating growth path in Pakistan. In this regard, deliberations between Pakistani authorities and IMF staff will continue to finalize an agreement on the contours of a program.

During his visit to Dubai, PM Imran underscored Pakistan’s strong interest in becoming a knowledge economy, artificial intelligence, green development and the importance of innovation for growth.

In his keynote address at the summit, the premier highlighted his vision for a strong and prosperous Pakistan. He encouraged investment in different sectors of the Pakistani economy.

On Saturday, Pakistan also revised its growth figures for the last financial year to 5.2 percent from a previously reported 5.8 percent after a sharp cut in the figure for large-scale manufacturing, the statistics office said.

When the original estimate was reported in April by the government of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi it was hailed as the strongest growth in 13 years.

Before the revisions to last year’s GDP figures, Pakistan’s deficit to GDP ratio, estimated at 5.8 percent in 2017-18, was expected to hit 6.9 percent this year, according to IMF data.

Pakistan is seeking its 13th bailout since the late 1980s to deal with a current account deficit that threatens to trigger a balance of payments crisis, but talks have been delayed by difficulties in reconciling IMF reform demands with Islamabad’s fears the push is too drastic and could hurt economic growth.

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