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US envoy optimistic on Pakistan, IMF talks

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome on Wednesday hailed the new economic team of Pakistan and expressed optimism regarding the ongoing discussions between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The executive board of the IMF will meet on April 29 to discuss the approval of $1.1 billion funding for the country.
The funding is the second and last tranche of a $3 billion standby arrangement with the IMF, which it secured last summer to avert a sovereign default and which runs out this month.
The country is seeking a new long-term, larger IMF loan. Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has said that Islamabad could secure a staff-level agreement on the new programme by early July.
In a meeting with Chairman Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, Blome praised the efforts of Pakistan’s economic team and emphasized the potential for further economic cooperation between Pakistan and the US, according to a news release.
Acknowledging the positive economic indicators of Pakistan, the ambassador noted the downward trend in inflation and high dollar reserves, stating that the IMF’s positive feedback would encourage investors.
He also highlighted the flourishing gaming industry in Pakistan and called for enhanced cooperation in the digital sector. Both discussed the importance of parliamentary contacts.
He also acknowledged Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and reiterated US support in combating terrorism, recognising the significant impact of terrorism on the country.

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