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Pakistan balance of payment crisis is over: Asad Umer

07 November, 2018

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Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan’s balance of payment crisis was over and added that China had committed to providing short-term relief to Pakistan- the modalities of which would be discussed in a new round of discussions in Beijing on Friday.

“The long-term solution to the balance of payment crisis is to increase our exports, and to do that we should have enough income so that we do not need to borrow,” Umar, who was a part of the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led delegation that visited China recently, said while addressing a press conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “We have received a commitment from the highest level.”

He added, “We have told you about the $12bn financing gap, of which $6bn have come from Saudi Arabia, and the rest has come from China so the immediate balance of payment crisis of Pakistan has ended. I want to make that clear in unequivocal terms. We do not have any balance of payment crisis now. ”

A statement released by the Finance Ministry corroborated Umar’s remarks, saying that a level-delegation comprising finance, foreign affairs, planning & development and commerce secretaries along with the State Bank of Pakistan’s governor will undertake a visit to China during the current week to work out the modalities.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the trip to China was “productive to the extent that we are out of the woods”.

The foreign minister said that the purpose of the visit to China was to send a message to the international community and also move the two countries’ strategic relationship towards an economic partnership”.

He said that a total of 15 memorandum of understanding (MoUs) were signed in China.

Giving details, he said, “We decided that our strategic dialogue must be upgraded and its level be raised to the FM-level.” “Secondly, it was also decided to transfer our citizens sentenced there and theirs sentenced here so that they can serve their sentences in their own countries.”

Another two important MoUs signed, he said, were regarding poverty alleviation and agricultural cooperation.

The foreign minister claimed that the trip to China also rubbished rumours that the Pakistan-China relationship would suffer under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

“The perception that some people here tried to give that the government was not paying attention to our relationship with China,” he said. “There is nothing to it. I can say that our relations with China are not just great but could get even better than before.

“This visit helped us in moving our relationship towards an economic partnership. We have always had good strategic relations so our aim [this time] was to figure how to advance the economic footprint.” The foreign minister said he was confident that the discussion with the Chinese counterparts would help double Pakistan’s exports. agencies

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