Japan assures Pakistan of coronavirus debt relief 

'After preliminary work on the debt relief initiative, a memorandum of understanding will be formally signed with Pakistan'

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ISLAMABAD: Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda on Tuesday assured Pakistan of all possible help and assistance to cope with the coronavirus situation.

In a meeting with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in Islamabad, Kuninori Matsuda said that Japan would provide debt relief to Pakistan in order to help the country stabilise its economy.

The Japanese envoy said that after preliminary work on the debt relief initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding would be formally signed with Pakistan.

The ambassador apprised the PM’s aide that Japan intends to extend business relations with Pakistan, adding that his country wished to import mangoes, rice, fish and textile products from the South Asain country. 

He requested the adviser to make arrangements at the ports that could facilitate agri exports to Japan.

The ambassador also expressed condolences on the loss of lives and properties during the recent rains in Pakistan. He hoped that with the regional peace and stable political situation regional trade would flourish, offering better opportunities to Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, the adviser said that Japan was a time tested friend of Pakistan and had always supported the country in this time of crisis. He expressed confidence that Pakistan’s relationship with Japan would continue to become stronger with every passing day.

Shaikh apprised the ambassador about the state of the economy during the past year and how the government had made efforts to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The adviser said that before Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan’s economy had started to move in the right direction. “We had been successful in increasing our tax revenues, controlling our current account deficit, generating primary surplus, controlling our expenditures, putting a ban on borrowing from the central bank, and creating a conducive environment for exports.”

He said he was hopeful that Pakistan would regain stability and equilibrium as the number of active cases of Covid-19 were declining.

 

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