Aurangzeb discusses Pakistan-US relations with Donald Lu, economy with IMF

Aurangzeb discusses Pakistan-US relations with Donald Lu, economy with IMF


Aurangzeb briefed the US officials about Pakistan's reform agenda

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WASHINGTON (Dunya News) – Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb on Wednesday met with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and discussed a range of bilateral issues, including ways to further strengthen relations.

The meeting was held at the World Bank headquarters here which was also attended by US State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst.

Finance Minister Aurangzeb briefed the US officials on Pakistan's reform agenda, while Washington expressed determination to further strengthen bilateral relations.

Pakistan and the United States vowed to upgrade economic partnerships in alternate energy, agriculture, climate resilience and tech industry sectors.

Aurangzeb highlighted emerging opportunities for US investment in Pakistan's IT, energy, agriculture and minerals sectors and said Pakistan would work closely with US International Development Finance Corporation and Exim Bank.

He briefed the US officials about Pakistan's reform agenda with a focus on broadening tax base, streamlining energy sector and fast-tracking privatisation process of state-owned enterprises.


Meanwhile, the Finance Minister also met Minister of State for Financial Affairs of United Arab Emirates Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini and discussed bilateral economic cooperation and avenues for strengthening ties.

Highlighting the long-standing relations between Pakistan and the UAE anchored in shared history, culture and faith, the Minister expressed gratitude to UAE's financial support to Pakistan in times of need.

He said the government is committed to continue with reforms initiated under the current IMF program in the priority areas of taxation, energy and privatization of SOEs.

He underlined Pakistan's firm resolve to address economic challenges and create a conducive environment for sustainable growth and investment.

He also expressed Pakistan's keen interest to re-engage with Middle Eastern Banks to revive their interest in potential investment opportunities in the country.

During his meeting with Executive Vice President of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and World Bank group's member Hiroshi Matano, the Finance Minister discussed Pakistan's investment landscape and measures to enhance investor confidence.

He appreciated MIGA's continued support in attracting foreign direct investment into Pakistan.

The Minister highlighted government's ongoing economic reforms aimed at improving the investment climate and creating a business-friendly environment for both domestic and international investors.

He underscored the government's commitment to address investor concerns and facilitate the ease of doing business.

The Finance Minister reiterated Pakistan's focus on promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, emphasizing the crucial role of FDI in achieving this objective.

Hiroshi Matano commended the government's efforts to enhance investors' confidence and expressed MIGA's readiness to continue supporting Pakistan in attracting quality foreign investments across various sectors of the economy.

The Finance Minister also met representatives of Deutsche Bank in Washington.

The Minister appreciated the Bank's support to Pakistan.

The Bank representatives briefed the Minister on different transaction structures to assist Pakistan in accessing the international capital markets.

They discussed the establishment of a Sustainable Finance Framework for the issuance of green sustainability bond.


Earlier, Finance Minister Aurangzeb met with the IMF chief and some members of its board of governors and reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to carry out “aggressive reforms” to stabilise its economy.

These discussions were part of a meeting of Middle East and North Africa (MENAP) ministers and governors with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva held on Tuesday.

Mr Aurangzeb “underscored aggressive reforms, including broadening the tax net, privatising loss-making SOEs, expanding social safety nets and facilitating the private sector,” his team said

In a statement issued a day after the meeting, the minister expressed gratitude to the IMF, multilateral development banks, and “time-tested sincere bilateral partners” for their unwavering support during these trying times.

He stressed the significance of reallocating a nation’s special drawing rights (SDRs) within the IMF to tackle economic hurdles effectively. Additionally, he highlighted the necessity of reassessing surcharge policies and giving precedence to the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) to address climate vulnerabilities.

The RST has been in operation for more than a year, with the initial 17 countries securing commitments of financial assistance. Pakistan, identified as a low emitter yet severely impacted by climate change, is also seeking aid from this fund.

Advocating for a more proactive and responsive Global Financial Safety Net to address heightened risks, Aurangzeb applauded the IMF’s renewed focus on Capacity Building through Regional Capacity Development Centres (RCDCs).

He advocated for a proactive global financial safety net to address heightened risks and appreciated the IMF’s renewed emphasis on capacity-building through regional capacity development centres. He also stressed the importance of collaborative efforts for sustainable economic development.

Pakistan, in pursuit of another long-term package — its 24th thus far — from the IMF, has formulated a comprehensive economic recovery plan. This plan encompasses three primary components: taxation, energy, and streamlining the privatisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including PIA.

The IMF board is scheduled to convene on April 29 to deliberate on releasing the final tranche of its current programme with Pakistan. Subsequently, discussions between IMF staff and Islamabad regarding the new package are anticipated to commence.

The IMF acknowledged Pakistan’s progress in meeting its conditions, while Pakistani officials advocated for a new plan tailored more specifically to Pakistan’s needs.