US Urges Pakistan to Continue Working with IMF on Reforms

The US State Department has urged Pakistan to continue working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), especially on reforms that will improve Pakistan’s business environment.

In the weekly press briefing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price while responding to a question about tensions between US and China potentially affecting the fate of Pakistan’s deal with the IMF said that “Ultimately it’s going to have to be decisions on the part of our Pakistani counterparts to unlock this IMF funding.”

Price added that US encourages Pakistan to continue working with the IMF, especially on reforms that will improve Pakistan’s business environment.

“We believe that doing so – and the IMF believes this – will make Pakistani business more competitive, will also help Pakistan attract high-quality investment,” Price said further.

“But more value than the potential investment dollars are the technologies, the market connections and management systems that accompany foreign investment. They improve the competitiveness of partnering Pakistani firms, fueling economic growth that increases employment and household incomes,” the spokesperson said.

“We believe that by continuing down this path and continuing to make the necessary decisions – economic decisions – that Pakistan can put itself, with the support of the international community, of course with the support of the United States, on a path to sustainable growth,” he concluded.

Responding to another question about whether the US is worried that Pakistan could fail, the spokesperson said that the US continues to look for ways in which it can support the Pakistani people to rebuild and deepen the economic partnership that has existed with the United States over the course of decades now.

“We know that the Pakistani people are facing tremendous hardship, including economic hardship,” the spokesperson said.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite talks with IMF stretching for over a month, Pakistan is yet to secure a staff-level agreement (SLA) with the IMF.

Earlier in the day Finance Minister Ishaq Dar once against claimed that Pakistan was close to signing the staff-level agreement.

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