WASHINGTON, Jun 11 (APP):The support Pakistan has received from the measures taken at international level to provide debt relief to the coronavirus-hit developing countries have helped Islamabad in coping with a “very difficult” economic situation, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan has said.
“I must say we received a good support,” the Pakistani envoy told the television service of NASDAQ, an American Stock Exchange.
At the same time, he pointed out that the crisis stemming from the pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan because the “very tough economic reforms” that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government undertook over the last one year had just begun to produce results.
“We had started to see the fruits of those measures in terms of improved growth rate, in terms of enhanced exports, in terms of greater industrialized activity but because of coronavirus, you know, it has unfortunately thrown a spanner in the works for us,” Ambassador Khan said.
“So despite the challenges that we face, our government has still been able to come up with a stimulus package in form of cash payments. We are trying to do our best to look after the vulnerable population by giving cash directly into their hands and also providing them subsidized rations, etc.”
Elaborating the steps related to the Global Debt Initiative, Ambassador Khan said Pakistan availed about $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund’s Rapid Finance Facility when the country was cash-strapped.
“We have also requested the G-20 (major Industrialized countries) for a deferment plan and we hope to get another about $1.8 billion of relief through that measure,” he said, adding that the World Bank had also come forward with their assistance.
“All (these measures), I must say have helped Pakistan in coping up with this very extraordinary and very difficult situation.”
Replying to a question, the Pakistani envoy said that the United States has been generous in providing a much-needed capacity building support to Pakistan.
“We have so far received around the $21 million that I assume is perhaps one of the highest amount that the U.S. has given out to any of its partner countries.”
In addition, he said, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) as well as the Pakistani-American diaspora had made important contributions.
Ambassador Khan also said that Pakistan has a liberal and deregulated investment regime that makes it an attractive destination for investors.