Pak­istan's re­form process bear­ing fruit: IMF

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) has praised Pak­istan's ef­forts to rein in its bud­get deficit and build its for­eign ex­change re­serves were pay­ing off, the Wall Street Jour­nal (WSJ) re­ported. Ac­cord­ing to the in­ter­na­tional news­pa­per, in an as­sess­ment of the South Asian na­tion's eco­nomic re­form pro­gramme, the mul­ti­lat­eral ar­gued that Pak­istan "has sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced near-term risks."

The Jour­nal fur­ther re­ported that IMF praised Pak­istan's progress in im­ple­ment­ing so­cial pro­grammes and its drive to re­struc­ture loss-mak­ing public en­ter­prises, to ad­vance energy-sec­tor re­form and im­prove the busi­ness cli­mate.

It said that decisive progress in those ar­eas "will help strengthen com­pet­i­tive­ness and re­silience of the econ­omy and trans­form Pak­istan into a dy­namic emerg­ing-mar­ket econ­omy," Wall Street Jour­nal fur­ther said. Pak­istan was set for con­tin­ued strong eco­nomic growth, the IMF said, fore­cast­ing that GDP will in­crease by 4.5% this fis­cal year, which runs from July to June.

Growth has been "helped by macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity, low oil prices, planned im­prove­ments in the do­mes­tic energy sup­ply, and in­vest­ment re­lated to the China- Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor," the IMF noted. The re­port said that coun­try's in­fla­tion rate dropped to 1.8% in July, but was ex­pected to rise in com­ing months, if com­mod­ity prices stabi- lize, as ex­pected, the IMF said.

The IMF also noted that Pak­istan nar­rowly missed some bud­get deficit, tax rev­enue and gov­ern­ment bor­row­ing tar­gets re­cently. The Wall Street Jour­nal said for­eign ex­change re­serves at the state bank rose at a healthy pace, the IMF added, reach­ing $13.5 bil­lion at the end of June. The coun­try still has a great deal of work ahead of it, though, the IMF ex­plained:

"In the pe­riod ahead, con­sol­i­dat­ing these gains and fo­cus­ing the re­form ef­forts on over­com­ing struc­tural chal­lenges still fac­ing Pak­istan will be im­por­tant to achieve higher ex­ports, in­vest­ment, jobs, and growth.", the WSJ said.

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