US delegation lauds Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda

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  • Envoy says US will continue to remain engaged with Pakistan in its economic reforms efforts
  • PM’s adviser says all-out efforts are being made towards the implementation of FATF Action Plan

ISLAMABAD: A US delegation, led by its Ambassador in Pakistan Alice G Wells, called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Finance Division on Tuesday.

Hafeez Shaikh briefed the visiting delegation on measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the government, saying that recent steps would ensure economic discipline in the country.

“Efforts are also being made towards the implementation of Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Action Plan,” he added.

The adviser emphasised the importance of bilateral engagement with the US. “There is a need to encourage entrepreneurs from the private sectors of both countries, as only that will enhance the volume of bilateral trade,” he maintained.

The adviser further informed that over the past three months, the government has taken significant steps to bring financial discipline.

“These steps include efforts to reduce current account deficit, focus on increasing revenue generation, measures to reduce fiscal expenditures and borrowings, efforts to enhance foreign exchange reserves through bilateral and multilateral support and arrangement of credit facility with Saudi Arabia, Islamic Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.”

As part of the government’s institutional development initiative, the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Board of Revenue are being resourced and empowered, he stated.

Hafeez Shaikh said in order to ensure economic growth and to facilitate the people living below the poverty line, the government has introduced various programmes to support export-oriented industries and health insurance schemes.

Regarding the implementation of the FATF Action Plan, the adviser stated that the government is putting in all its efforts to complete the action plan. “We are involving all relevant authorities at the federal and provincial levels, whereas the capacity-building work is being done through international partners,” he added.

The adviser expressed his commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of the AML/CFT Framework so that all the actions that are being taken to curb terror financing remain irreversible and sustainable.

Envoy Alice G Wells appreciated the briefings, saying that US would continue to remain engaged with Pakistan in its economic reforms efforts, adding that her country envisions building an environment that facilitates business development between the two countries.

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