Continuing his intense schedule of engagements in Washington DC during the spring session of the World Bank and IMF, Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, today, met with the US Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Anthony Blinken at the State Department. Finance Minister was joined by Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani and Secretary Finance Waqar Masood.
Recalling the recent high level exchanges from both sides especially the visit of Commerce Secretary Pritzker to Islamabad in March to attend the US Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the state of play in the relationship and agreed to intensify the engagements in the coming months to further strengthen and deepen the bilateral cooperation in all areas.
Finance Minister Dar shared with the Deputy Secretary of State the important achievements in the economic sector that led to upgrading of Pakistan’s economic outlook in recent months. The significant decrease in inflation, growing foreign exchange reserves, stable exchange rate and shrinking fiscal deficit, Minister Dar underlined, were the results of sound economic policies pursued by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He informed that the government will continue to undertake structural reforms for creating investment friendly environment especially in energy, infrastructure development, large scale manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Finance Minister also briefed the US side on the ongoing efforts for return and rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons to their homes in FATA following the clearing of areas by the successful military operations.
Noting the significant improvement in the security situation in the country, Deputy Secretary Blinken stressed the need to continue building momentum on expanded trade, investment and economic cooperation between Pakistan and the United States. The two sides also agreed that energy remains the vital area with immense potential for enhanced cooperation. In this context, it was emphasized that the forthcoming meeting of the Working Group on Energy should review the entire range of collaboration to assist Pakistan in overcoming its energy deficiency.
The two sides also discussed the situation of peace and security in the broader region. It was agreed that a collective response of the international community was imperative to address the emerging threats to international peace and security.
April 17, 2015