Pakistan, IMF Make ‘Significant Progress’ Towards Staff-level Agreement: IMF Officials

Fri May 24 2024
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani officials and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have made “significant progress” towards reaching a staff-level agreement on a new programme, the IMF said in a statement on Friday.

The IMF mission, which concluded its trip on May 23, was in Islamabad to discuss Pakistan’s pursuit of a longer, larger Extended Fund Facility, local media reported.

“Building on the economic stabilisation achieved through the successful completion of the 2023 Stand-by Arrangement (SBA), the IMF and the Pakistani officials made important progress toward reaching a Staff Level Agreement (SLA) on a comprehensive economic policy and reform programme that can be supported under an Extended Fund Facility,” IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter was cited as saying in the statement.

The statement said “The authorities’ reform programme aims to move Pakistan from economic stabilization to strong, inclusive, and resilient growth.”

“The mission and the authorities will continue policy discussions virtually over the coming days aiming to finalize talks, including the financial support needed to underpin the authorities’ reform efforts from the IMF and Pakistan’s bilateral and multilateral partners.”

“The IMF team is grateful to the Pakistani officials, private sector, and development partners for fruitful talks and their hospitality throughout this mission.” Pakistan’s $3-billion SBA concluded in April, but officials in Islamabad have been keen to pursue a 24th bailout with the IMF, hoping that a longer, larger EFF will put it on the path of permanence when it comes to reforms and economic stability.

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