Finance minister meets Chinese counterpart, assures progress on CPEC

In Local
April 20, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb met with his Chinese counterpart Lan Foan and assured him that work on the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be expedited. 

The two met in Washington where Aurangzeb shared with Foan that the second phase would include monetising assets through the transfer of Chinese privately owned companies (POCs). 

Aurangzeb also expressed condolences on behalf of the Pakistani leadership and people for the terrorist attack on Chinese citizens in Pakistan and reiterated his determination to ensure all arrangements for their protection.

The finance minister appreciated China’s invaluable contribution to Pakistan’s development as an “all-weather friend” through initiatives such as CPEC and cooperation with international financial institutions.

The minister also thanked Foan for meeting the gap in deposits and assistance with Islamabad’s external financing needs stating that Pakistan was entering into a comprehensive and expanded program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Looking forward to China’s support, the Chinese finance minister was also briefed on the government’s priorities, including broadening the tax base, reforming the energy sector and overhauling of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Aurangzeb added that Pakistan wants to launch the Chinese Panda Bond during the fiscal year 2025-26. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed on the need for both countries to continue cooperation in international institutions.

Speaking to the media, the minister said that the country is on an agenda of reform for economic stability, focusing on increasing the tax net while taking steps to reduce taxes.

Read Rs48b sought for CPEC energy debt

The talks with other international financial institutions including the IMF were positive, the finance czar added stating that Pakistan has been greatly affected by climate change, and is working on several projects in collaboration with various international institutions.

Besides, the FM also met with the World Bank’s Regional Vice President for South Asia Martin Riser, in which Aurangzeb expressed satisfaction over the finalization of the new Country Partnership Framework.

He said that the government is achieving short and long-term goals in the fields of energy, tax reforms and SOEs, adding that WB’s focus on climate change, digitization and human development aligns with government priorities.

FM Aurangzeb also briefed on the role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) as a one-window facility for investment and facilitation.

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