HBL president comments on Pakistan’s dialogue with IMF, CPEC and digitalisation

Muhammad Aurangzeb was invited as the only CEO representative of the Pakistani banking sector

Press Release October 17, 2018
HBL is the only Pakistani bank which has a physical presence in China. PHOTO: REUTERS

BALI: Muhammad Aurangzeb was invited as the only CEO representative of the Pakistani banking sector in order to share his views in his capacity as the President and CEO of HBL.

It is pertinent to mention that Muhammad Aurangzeb is the only CEO from Pakistan as well as the only Pakistani who has accepted an invite to join the membership of the exclusive Global CEO Council organised and managed by the Dow Jones Group/Wall Street Journal.

In an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings, HBL President and CEO Muhammad Aurangzeb introspected that Pakistan’s government has some difficult decisions to make in order to narrow the fiscal deficit and come up with solutions that encourage an increase in exports and the tax base of the country.

He pointed out: “With dwindling reserves, a breathing space is required...that is where the IMF comes in.” He added: “The devaluation will ultimately help exports and Pakistan.” In order for government policies to become sustainable in the long run, he stated that "...made-in-Pakistan and an export-based model is the way forward.”

Speaking on China’s One Belt One Road initiative, he pointed out that CPEC stands out as its flagship in terms of investment being made in Pakistan’s energy sector, roads and other infrastructure projects which have also benefited Pakistan and in the medium to long-term these projects will boost Pakistan’s exports and ultimately pay back and create a long-term positive effect on the balance of payments.

He stated: “A lot of these projects should be invoiced in RMB and settled in RMB, especially energy projects which should not be based on a dollar index but a RMB index which is a wonderful opportunity for Pakistan to diversify.”

Furthermore, he added that “HBL is the only Pakistani bank which has a physical presence in China.”

With regard to the future and digitalisation, he emphasised, “HBL thinks of itself as an IT company with a banking licence.”

The annual meeting of the boards of governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) was held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from October 12-14, 2018.

Both the IMF and the WBG undertake to bring together central bank governors, ministers of finance, senior parliamentarians, captains of industry, representatives from civil society organisations and academics to discuss issues that involve the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development and aid effectiveness, including many other events focused on the global economy, international development and the world’s financial system.  

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2018.

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