Minister upbeat on Pakistan’s economy

    By IANS,

    Islamabad : Positive macro-economic performance coupled with expected investment inflows into Pakistan would help bolster the national economy, a senior minister has said.

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    Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who led Pakistan to IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Washington and discussed bilateral cooperation with senior US officials, said that during his engagements he advocated greater trade access for Pakistani products and sought investment in energy, infrastructure and other areas, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

    The Pakistani delegation’s 53 meetings included discussions with IMF and World Bank leaders on cooperation aimed at Pakistan’s economic development.

    The finance minister, who concluded his visit to Washington Tuesday, listed a series of positive indicators including a 24 percent jump in exports in the first two months of the new fiscal year on top of 30 percent growth last year.

    The first two months have also seen a 24 percent increase in tax revenue and a 40 percent leap in foreign remittances that follow last year’s record $11.5 billion, he added.

    Foreign exchange reserves remain at comfortable levels at over $18 billion.

    “The coming year will be a year of consolidation for us,” said Shaikh.