Pakistan PM seeks loans to reservice debts, investments

The country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and they are talking to Saudi investors about the projects, Khan said

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RIYADH: Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to reservice debt and shore up its economy, the country’s prime minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday.

“What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly governments,” Khan told an audience at an investment conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

While mentioning the country’s largely unexploited mineral reserves, they hadn’t been extracted because of corruption and terrorism issues, however, it was changing now, said the PM.

“There are vast amounts of mineral wealth in Pakistan,” he said. “We have hardly had any investment in our mineral resources and one of the reasons as I said in the last 15 years was the war on terror.

Investors would not come back to Pakistan. We also had very poor governance and corruption.”

While speaking to the audience, Khan said, “Pakistan has 100 million people below the age of 35,” he told his audience. There is a big pressure on the government to find employment for this population.

“We are trying to create an enabling environment for investment. The plan is to not just attract foreign and overseas investors but our own investors as well. We are restructuring our duty sectors,” said the PM.

Khan, who was elected prime minister in July, is in Saudi Arabia for the second time this month seeking to shore up financial aid as the country reels from a looming balance of payments crisis.

The country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and they are talking to Saudi investors about the projects, Khan said, adding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is organizing a delegation of Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan.