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Reforms package more crucial than size of programme for Pakistan: IMF official

Jihad Azour cites IMF ready to support Pakistan
IMF Middle East and Central Asia director Jihad Azour addresses a press conference on the sidelines of the IMF 2024 Spring Meetings in Washington, US on April 18, 2024. Screengrab via IMF YouTube
IMF Middle East and Central Asia director Jihad Azour addresses a press conference on the sidelines of the IMF 2024 Spring Meetings in Washington, US on April 18, 2024. Screengrab via IMF YouTube

The International Monetary Fund is ready to support Pakistan and the package of reforms is now more important than the size of new programme, the fund’s Middle East and Central Asia director said on Thursday.

“I think what is important at this stage is to accelerate the reforms, double down on the structure of reforms in order to provide Pakistan with its full potential of growth,” Jihad Azour told a press conference on the sidelines of the IMF 2024 Spring Meetings.

He added that the nine-month SBA programme allowed Pakistan to achieve a certain number of milestones in terms of economic stability.

“The last review was successful and will be forward to board which will end the programme that helped Pakistan address acute economic imbalances and maintain its economic stability,” he said.

He confirmed that the authorities have expressed in a new prorgramme. Azour cited some of the key challenges, including preserving macroeconomic stability, reform of energy sector, increase the economic potential, leveling playing field, improving business field, and allowing private sector to have more space.

He stressed the need for reforms. The IMF official added that the priorities are still there despite that the country has sought several programmes in the past.

“Bilateral partners for Pakistan are looking forward for programme to extend their additional financial support to Pakistan.”

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