Pakistan needs sustainable growth via IMF reforms: Blome

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

LAHORE: US Ambassador Donald Blome on Monday said Pakistan needs a sustainable growth based on the IMF reforms as the Fund works within a sharp policy framework.

He said this while addressing the members of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and added that the reforms proposed by the IMF and the World Bank will bring Pakistan on a sustained growth path.

He said the US is looking for ways to reduce economic pressure on Pakistan. “Our bilateral trade in 2022 reached $9.9 billion, of which Pakistan exported goods worth $6.8 billion,” he added.

He said the US commerce department is looking for ways to facilitate Pakistan, adding that the country needs to shift from imported fossil fuels to indigenous fuels. “Pakistan has got a lot of potential in this regard. The US is assisting the country to achieve this potential through consultancy and investment,” he added.

The US envoy said that climate change adversely impacted Pakistan, adding that a few weeks after the devastation caused by floods, numerous US officials visited the country’s affected areas. “The US since then has committed $200 million for relief efforts and is trying to assist Pakistan in overcoming the climate impact through a planning mechanism to respond to floods. This includes putting together a resilient infrastructure,” he said.

Regarding the FTA with Pakistan, Blome pointed out that this is a long process and would take time, while on visa issues, he admitted there was a backlog after the Covid-19 that is being cleared and the things would normalise in a few months. He said Pakistan has a huge unrealised potential in tourism, adding that the US is assisting the country in preserving its cultural heritage that fascinates tourists.