Pakistan to receive first tranche of $1bn from KSA by next week

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is likely to get $1 billion from Saudi Arabia as the first installment by next week, it has been learnt on Saturday.

On October 23, Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide Pakistan $3 billion for one year to help the later address its balance of payment crisis. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard between Finance Minister Asad Umar and his Saudi counterpart during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh on the invitation of the custodian of the two holy mosques.

During the tour, Imran Khan met King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

It is pertinent to mention that the incumbent government inherited a mountain of economic challenges when it came to power in July.

Before departing for Riyadh, Khan had said his country is “desperate” to shore up its foreign currency reserves, which are at a four-year low of $8.4m.

Pakistan is currently facing a balance-of-payments crisis – with a nearly $18bn deficit, according to the latest figures by the State Bank of Pakistan, while its public sector debt stands at $75.3bn – which is 27 per cent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product.

“The immediate concern for our government is to increase exports, bolster our foreign exchange reserves; getting Pakistanis to send remittances through the banking channels,” Khan said during a session at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh. “At the same time, clamping down on money laundering, which is a problem in most of the developing world.”

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