Pakistan delegation including Finance Secretary, Mr. Shahid Mahmood, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Tariq Bajwa and Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan attended IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings’ Plenary Session in Washington D.C. on 13 October, 2017. The Plenary session was addressed by President World Bank as well as Managing Director IMF.
Later in the day, the Pakistan delegation met separately with Ms. Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Region, Ms. Keiko Honda, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and Mr. Dimitris Tsitsiragos, Vice President, International Finance Corporation (IFC). They also held meetings with representatives of various private banks and institutional investors.
In their meetings, they highlighted the current economic situation of Pakistan as well as potential investment opportunities in the country. They further highlighted that growth rate achieved in last financial year by Pakistan was the highest in a decade and that the ongoing CPEC projects, improved security situation and growth in private sector credit offtake, especially fixed investments, will help Pakistan in maintaining this growth trajectory in the coming years.
Referring to the main challenge facing the economy, they mentioned that the current account deficit was partly driven by higher machinery imports, which in coming years should add to the growth momentum of the economy through increased economic activity in the real sector. However, the external account situation is being closely monitored and steps are being taken to address it.
In their meeting with Ms. Annette Dixon, the Pakistan delegation referred to debt estimates published in the recent World Bank report on South Asia. The World Bank acknowledged that the figures quoted in certain sections of media were grossly exaggerated and an undue misperception had been created. The delegation also impressed upon the World Bank to play its role under the Indus Water Treaty to resolve outstanding dispute between India and Pakistan on the construction of Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects.
With the IFC team, detailed discussions were held to speed up the process for setting up the proposed Pakistan Infrastructure Bank. The IFC team stated that process to finalize the business plan for PIB and initiating other legal requirements would be started soon.
In their MIGA meeting, the delegation welcomed the planned visit of MIGA representatives to Pakistan to carry out due diligence in auto mobile sector and urged them to expand their operations in Pakistan. On their part, MIGA stated that they planned to showcase Pakistan’s investment potential during Ms Honda’s planned visit to South Korea.
October 14 , 2017