Lahore : IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday appreciated Pakistan’s economic agenda saying the country was in ‘better fiscal position’ and had the potential to become top emerging economy of the world.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief also lauded the government for coping with multiple challenges and achieving macroeconomic stability in a short period of three years.
She was addressing a seminar on “emerging markets in the world economy” organized by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) here at a hotel.
Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar and SBP Governor Ashraf Mehood Wathra also addressed the seminar.
Lagarde said,”Pakistan is now in a better fiscal position and certainly out of economic crisis.” She said before the present government came into power, Pakistan’s economy was in severe crisis. However, due to the IMF funded programme and owing to the government’s prudent reforms agenda,the country had achieved macroeconomic stability. It successfully completed the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with the IMF.
She assured that the IMF would continue to support Pakistan technically in its efforts to make the country on the path of higher economic trajectory.
Due to the economic reforms, she said, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had improved, fiscal deficit had come down and circular debt had reduced significantly, besides increase in tax base and revenue collection. She stressed the need for promotion of women education and equal job opportunities, besides access to credit and business market which would help boost the country’s economy. “Women are the game changer for Pakistan,” she remarked.
Quoting Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s saying of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’, she said if those principles were followed the country would lead to the path of economic prosperity. Christine Lagarde said 60 per cent of 180 million population of Pakistan were youth and if their potential was fully exploited the would country would progress tremendously.
The IMF Chief said,”This is an important time – a moment of opportunity – for Pakistan, a country undergoing an economic transformation that can place it well among the ranks of emerging market economies.”She said hard work and reforms were starting to pay off.”Pakistan, was recently upgraded from a frontier economy to an emerging market in the MSCI index,” she said adding that it was an important signal given a changing global landscape, especially for emerging and developing economies.
Over the past few years, economic dynamism in the world economy she said, had gradually been shifting from advanced economies to emerging markets. Today, she said, these countries were home to 85 per cent of the world’s population, and account for almost 60 per cent of global GDP -up from just under half only a decade ago.
While the global recovery had been subdued, emerging economies have contributed more than 80 percent of global growth since the crisis,she added.
The IMF chief said Pakistan needed to rely on the strength of its own policies to generate more growth and jobs, and to join the group of dynamic emerging markets.