Dar leaves for US today to attend WB, IMF meetings

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Current Affairs on Monday, April 11, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A day ahead of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s weeklong visit to the United States, Chairman and President of the US Exim Bank Fred P. Hochberg visited the Ministry of Finance on Sunday to explore business opportunities for US-based investors and suppliers.

Mr Dar is leaving for the US on Monday to attend spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington and meet finance ministers, investors, suppliers and financial institutions on the sidelines.

Informed sources said there were a lot of opportunities now emerging for global companies and US investors were also looking for taking advantage of the situation. The portfolio of the US Exim Bank was negligible at present and limited to defence sector.

Therefore, the Exim Bank chief is on an exploratory visit to seek preferential opportunities for US investors which were currently being made available by Pakistan to some friendly countries like China and Turkey. Even in major initiatives like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), multi-geographical companies could participate, the sources said.

It was in this background that Mr Dar explained to the Exim Bank chief that the government was seriously undertaking reforms for rehabilitation of the national airline and concerted efforts were afoot to complete energy projects with the resolve to add 10,000MW of electricity to the national grid in its tenure.

Also, General Electric of the US had signed an agreement for supply of gas turbines and related equipment for three 3600MW Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based power projects in the country.

“These projects provide opportunities for the Exim Bank to consider long-term financing in different areas, including energy projects, as US companies were already engaged in these projects,” finance minister was quoted as saying in an official statement.

The finance minister also briefed the Exim Bank chief on the current profile of the economy, saying that Pakistan, after having achieved macroeconomic stability, was now fully focused on economic growth and job creation. A large number of projects were being implemented in infrastructure and energy sectors.

These projects would provide necessary environment for the private sector to grow and make further investments. He said that gaps in infrastructure and energy supply had hindered economic growth in the country for several years.

The statement quoted the US Exim Bank president as appreciating the economic achievements of the government and showing keen interest in investment opportunities in Pakistan.

He said the Exim Bank would facilitate US investors for investment in the country. US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and senior officials of the ministries of finance, aviation and water and power also attended the meeting.

Separately, Mr Dar also reviewed preparations for participation of Pakistan’s delegation in the World Bank/IMF spring meetings in Washington from April 15-17. 

People Mentioned
  • Muhammad Ishaq Dar Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics