Pak Minister meets US envoy, seeks financial investments as country faces economic turmoil

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 29 (ANI): In a similar move to Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s appeal to US to help Pakistan in securing an IMF loan tranche, country’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has met the Ambassador of the United States (US) to Pakistan, Donald Blome, to get financial investments from Washington, media reports said.

As Pakistan is battling with an unprecidented crisis, Ismail asserted that attracting the United States (US) foreign investment in different sectors of country’s economy was the Pakistani government’s top priority.

The Finance Minister said the incumbent government was focusing on creating a business-friendly environment for foreign investors. He stated that Pakistan and the US enjoy a long-term, broad-based and multi-dimensional relationship.

Earlier, country’s army chief Bajwa has sought help from the US to secure an early loan dispersal from the International Monetary Fund at a time when the country is battling with dwindling foreign reserves, media reports said.

The Finance Minister highlighted the economic agenda and policies of the government with aim to bring about economic and fiscal stability. The Minister reiterated the desire of the present government to further deepen bilateral economic, trade and investment ties with the USA, reported ARY News.

Pakistan’s Finance Ministry, in a press statement, confirmed this development. Economic Counselor, Aaron Fishman and Treasury Attache of US Embassy, Larita Bolden accompanied the Ambassador during his meet with Ismail, reported local media outlet ARY News.

Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Special Secretary Finance and senior officers also attended the meeting.

On Thursday, SP Global downgraded Pakistan’s outlook to negative from stable. The U.S. is the largest shareholder in the IMF, founded in 1945. While Washington has voted for funding Pakistan in the past, the Trump administration openly expressed its reservations about the country using IMF loans to pay back China, as per the media portal.

General Bajwa’s appeal comes in the wake of separate meetings between senior civilian Pakistani and American officials in July, none of which managed to negotiate an early disbursement of funds.

“Several senior Pakistani officials have met with U.S. and other key stakeholder nations in the IMF and World Bank in the past week to register concerns about the timing of IMF Executive Board decisions, pressing to expedite review of Pakistan’s progress on prior actions,” said an official familiar with the proceedings.

According to sources, the lack of progress in those meetings spurred Gen. Bajwa, commander of the 650,000-strong military, to get Washington’s attention when other emissaries could not deliver.”This reflects the Pakistan army’s concerns about the state of the economy,” said Hussain Haqqani,Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington and currently the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington. “It also reflects that the Pakistan army chief is the authority with whom the global players feel the final word rests.” (ANI)

Disclaimer: This report is automatically generated from worldwide news services. NTN is not responsible for its content and does not moderate it.

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