Saudi Offers Pakistan $6-billion Package to Ease Economic Crisis
Saudi Arabia has agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis, Pakistan’s government said on October 24th. The $6 billion total exceeds forecasts by analysts and will likely reduce the size of any bailout Pakistan it receives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Saudi agreement came as new Pakistani PM Imran Khan attended a Saudi investment conference that has been boycotted by several other leaders over the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. Khan had said before departing that his country is “desperate” to shore up its foreign currency reserves, which are at a four-year low, equivalent to less than two months’ imports and barely enough to make its debt repayments through rest of year.