US urges Pakistan to continue IMF reforms for sustainable growth

Ned Price IMF

Steps would make Pak business more competitive

The US State Department has urged Pakistan to “continue working” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), especially on reforms that will improve the country’s business environment, highlighting that it would help Pakistan attract “high-quality investment”.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price made the remarks in response to a query at a weekly press briefing on Wednesday.

“We encourage Pakistan to continue working with the IMF, especially on reforms that will improve Pakistan’s business environment. We believe that doing so — and the IMF believes this — will make Pakistani business more competitive [and] will also help Pakistan attract high-quality investment,” he said.

Responding to a query during the briefing if the US was worried about Pakistan’s current situation as it faced major economic issues, political challenges and a rise in terror attacks, Price reiterated US support for Pakistan through “economic partnership that has existed with the US over the course of decades now”.

He said that Pakistan was working with “international financial institutions — the IMF — to put itself on a sustainable growth path”.

“The United States is ready and able to continue to be a partner to the people of Pakistan and to our Pakistani counterparts as well,” he added.

In response to a question about if the US was not using its “friendly influence” that it had at the IMF to help Pakistan secure the deal, the spokesperson said: “Ultimately, it’s going to have to be decisions on the part of our Pakistani counterparts to unlock this IMF funding.”

Encouraging Pakistan to continue working with the money lender, Price highlighted that the technologies, market connections and management systems that accompany the deal were of more value than the “potential investment dollars”. —Agencies