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Pakistan Aims to Accelerate Phase-II of CPEC

In meeting with Chinese counterpart, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb says Pakistan is ‘looking forward' to continued Chinese support as country enters new IMF deal

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb on Friday informed his Chinese counterpart, Lan Fo’an, that Pakistan will soon enter into a new program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and sought Beijing’s “continued support” as the country works toward economic recovery.

While the contours of the program Pakistan is seeking would only become clear after negotiations in May, Aurangzeb has already expressed a desire to secure a $6-8 billion extended facility, with the potential for augmentation through climate financing.

According to a statement issued by the finance ministry on Saturday, the two ministers met on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington. During their meeting, Aurangzeb briefed his counterpart on the incumbent government’s priorities, including broadening the tax base, fixing the energy sector, and overhauling loss-making state-owned enterprises.

The finance minister also updated the Chinese official about progress on the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), expressing the government’s resolve to accelerate Phase II of the project. In Phase I, the government focused on infrastructure development, with Aurangzeb lauding China’s invaluable contribution to Pakistan’s development through various initiatives, including support at international financial institutions. In Phase II, Pakistan aims to focus on monetizing assets through the operationalization of Special Economic Zones and relocation of Chinese private-owned companies.

The finance minister also thanked the Chinese government for SAFE deposits and regular rollovers of various loans, noting this had played a crucial role in addressing Pakistan’s external financing gaps.

Conveying his condolences on behalf of the leadership and people of Pakistan over the recent terrorist attack that killed five Chinese nationals in Pakistan, Aurangzeb reaffirmed Islamabad’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Chinese citizens and investments in the country.

The minister also claimed that Pakistan wanted to tap into the Chinese Bond Market and launch Panda Bonds during the fiscal year 2025-26.

Both sides, per the statement, agreed on the need to continue their cooperation within international institutions, reflecting deep-rooted economic ties between the two countries.

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