Ishaq Dar meets top Banking Heads, Chinese Finance Minister in China

Islamabad, June 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar met with several top ranking heads of China’s financial sector and also called on his Chinese counterpart Finance Minister Lou Jiwei here in Beijing today.

In a meeting with Hu Xiaolian Chairperson of the Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM) the Minister congratulated the newly appointed chairperson on assuming office and expressed hope that EXIM’S cooperation with Pakistan would gain further momentum under her leadership. He hoped that the bank would gain from her previous rich experience particularly in foreign exchange management as Vice President of the Central Bank of China.

During the meeting, the Minister apprised the chairperson of the economic outlook of the country and said that owing to present government successful economic reform agenda Pakistan’s economy had been put on right track with all macroeconomic indicators showing a positive trend.

He said that the foreign exchange reserves had doubled, the relationship with multilateral donors had been revived, the credit ratings for Pakistan had improved, Pakistan recently successfully passed the 7th IMF review, it’s investment bonds were heavily subscribed and the GDP growth rate had touched new highs. The satisfactory state of the economy was reassuring not just for Pakistan but also for prospective banking and financing institutions, he added. Both sides discussed status of several CPEC projects undertaken with EXIM’S funding and expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved so far.

Minister Ishaq Dar also met President of China Development Bank (CDB) Zheng Zhijie They discussed progress on financing of various projects in Pakistan. President CDB said that several projects were being carried out with the involvement of the bank and implementation of those projects was being stepped up. The Minister emphasized the need for Pakistan-China Investment Company to play a more active role in promoting economic cooperation. The Minister also invited the President of CDB to visit Pakistan.

Minister Ishaq Dar also held a meeting with Li Keping, President of China Investment Corporation in Beijing. He apprised the President that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government had introduced deep rooted structural reforms and stabilization features, financial consolidation and fiscal discipline which was yielding promising dividends. The revenue collection had gone up. The reserves had a significant increase and the GDP growth rate had also increased.

The international credit agencies had also upgraded ratings for Pakistan. Pakistan got approval from the 7th IMF review board and the country was back in international bond market. He said that the country was also carrying out privatization as part of its reform agenda. He said that out of the 46 Billion CPEC projects, 34 Billion were energy projects which offered high return on equity and investment and attractive investment prospects. Li Keping said that CIC was focused on furthering cooperation with Pakistan which was an important country of one belt one road initiative.

Minister Ishaq Dar described his meeting with CIC as one that offered news ideas to the two sides to work together. Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also called on Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei here today. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress on the Chinese initiative of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Minister congratulated Lou Jiwei on materializing the vision of AIIB and signing of its Articles of Agreement by more than fifty countries in a record time.

He offered all out support to the Chinese endeavour and hoped that the bank would play a pivotal role in transforming the infrastructure deficit in the region. He said that following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan CPEC related projects had made progress owing to Chinese side’s continued cooperation and support. He emphasized the need for speedy implementation of energy projects so as to overcome the electricity shortfall by end of 2017. The Chinese Finance Minister appreciated improvement in Pakistan’s economy and reform agenda of the government.

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