Hafeez Shaikh caps off 'successful' US tour securing promises of aid, loans

Says Pakistan's good economic policies convinced US, monetary organisations to give $5.27b, remittances up to $13.5b.

Huma Imtiaz April 23, 2012

WASHINGTON: Federal Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh, wrapping up a week long tour in Washington, said that Pakistan will be receiving as much as $5.27 billion from the US, UK and international monetary organisations over the next four years.

Having met managing director of the World Bank Sri Mulyani, the Asian Development Bank President Haruhijo Kuroda, US AID administrator Dr Rajiv Shah, Sheikh, and IMF Pakistan mission chief Adnan Mazarei among senior US officials, confirmed that both the Asian Development Bank and the US have reaffirmed investment in to the Diamer Bhasha dam project in Pakistan. "We have told the ADB to send their assessment team to Pakistan soon," the Finance Minister said.

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC, Shaikh said that the US has also agreed to invest in the renovation of the Mangla Dam, and for the Kurram-Tangi dam project. He said the US government had notified Congress that it would be spending $223 million on the projects.

Shaikh, who is wrapping up a one-week trip to Washington DC where he and his finance team attended the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings 2012, said the International Finance Corporation, part of the WB group, would also invest $1 billion in various sectors in Pakistan's private sector, including energy and finance. Shaikh said that the IFC investment was the highest for the group in Pakistan. He also added that the World Bank had increased its spending on Pakistan from $1.6 to $1.8 billion. Dr Shaikh also said that Britain had announced that Pakistan would be its biggest recipient of aid. "Britain will spend over $2.25 billion over the next four years, primarily in the field of education."

While highlighting the increasing number of remittances, a higher growth rate and growing exports as signs of progress in Pakistan's economy, Dr Shaikh said that the rising oil prices may impact Pakistani exports in the future. He added that if the economic conditions of Europe worsened, that too could impact Pakistan.

Record breaking foreign remittances expected

Shaikh said that Pakistan is due to receive a record $13.5 billion in foreign remittances this year in a sign of confidence of overseas Pakistanis' in the economic policies of the government. "Overseas Pakistanis posing confidence in Pakistan, will send $ 13.5 billion this year, reflecting a 21 per cent increase from last year's $ 11.2 billion," the finance minister proudly announced at the press briefing.

Claiming that the national economy was now on the path to stability and growth, Dr Shaikh said that Islamabad's policies are yielding results despite soaring international oil prices and uncertain global economic situation and that this year Pakistan's economy will grow at four per cent of the GDP, the highest growth seen over the past five years.

He recounted a host of positive indicators including six per cent expansion in exports, which follow a 30 per cent increase in exports last year, and a jump of 25 per cent in revenue collection in the past nine months from


j. von hettlingen | 9 years ago | Reply

Let's hope that the money will be used wisely for strengthening Pakistan's economy and creating jobs.

MarkH | 9 years ago | Reply

@Amjad: You didn't fight the Soviets out of the kindness of your own hearts. Your own existence was threatened and you were propped up (given a lot) throughout it and afterwards. Do you think it's only just recently that you've been getting things? From the start of your very existence the US was approached to help you and it did. You're also not fighting the war on terror out of the kindness of your own hearts. From the start you had to be pressured and as it has dragged on you're lucky you did because if it wasn't for that you'd be on the receiving end of NATO's hostility because you're obviously complicit in supporting the enemy. So obviously complicit that the "with us or against us" line being used at the beginning was probably a blessing in disguise. The only thing keeping that from happening is your conveniently timed mentioning of the "sacrifices" you've made which, I might add, have been from TTP and your very own assets for the most part. They've told you bluntly many times, US or no US, they're going to be killing you.

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