France offers to back Pakistan in talks with int’l financial institutions

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France offers Pakistan
Image: Reuters.com

Islamabad: As the deadlock in talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues, France has offered to back Pakistan in talks with the financial institutions.

Addressing the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan that is being held in Geneva, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a video message that Paris was ready to support Pakistan in its talks with financial institutions as the country faces huge losses from recent floods.

PM Shehbaz presents Pakistan’s $16.3 billion funding request at international climate conference in Geneva

He also pledged to bring in a contribution of $10m for aid support to Pakistan.

Last week, Prime Minister Shehbaz held a phone call with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), wherein he told her about the government’s resolve to complete the terms of the program.

Under the ninth review of Pakistan’s $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Islamabad is to receive $1.18 billion, which will shore up the economy and help ease the pressure on dwindling forex reserves.

The SBP data showed that in 2022, the cumulative forex reserves of Pakistan fell to $11.42 billion from $23.88 billion at the start of the year. During the year, the SBP-held reserves declined from $17.68 billion to $5.57 billion — enough only to cover a little over one month’s imports.

Pakistan’s forex reserves plunge $245.4 million to reach $5.57 billion

The fall in reserves contributes to the worrisome situation the country finds itself in, as the reserves are also not enough to service its huge foreign debt. Despite repeated assurances from Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that the country will not default, the ground realities hardly support his claims.