Imran Khan: Pakistan needs loans to overcome debt crisis


RIYADH — Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to reservice debt and shore up its economy, prime minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday at the Future Investment Initiative forum here.

“What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly governments,” Khan told an audience at an investment conference in Riyadh. Islamabad has already asked the IMF to open negotiations for the country’s second potential bailout in five years.

Khan, who was elected prime minister in July, is in Saudi Arabia for the second time this month seeking to shore up financial aid as the country reels from a looming balance of payments crisis.

The country also needs two oil refineries to meet demand, and they are talking to Saudi investors about the projects, Khan said, adding Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is organizing a delegation of Saudi businessmen to invest in Pakistan.

“One thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and security,” Khan said on Tuesday.

Khan said he had tried to extend hand of peace to India, had not received a response, but hoped to resume efforts to improve ties with India after national elections there.

In September, India called off the meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbors’ foreign ministers, planned for the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly the same month.

Replying to a question about the premier’s plans in wooing investors to Pakistan, Imran Khan said, “Information technology could be one area where can improve exports and provide employment, we are concentrating to organize our IT sector. We are working to ensure ease of doing business by developing a one window operation for investors.”

In a related development, Imran Khan disclosed that new Pakistan means backing to the main values based on guiding investment opportunities, developing human resources and improving institutions and supporting justice in order to develop education, infrastructure and employment opportunities.

During his participation at the plenary titled "Emerging Opportunities" within Future Investment Initiatives (FII) 2018 held in Riyadh, the Pakistani Prime Minister affirmed that his country has huge mineral wealth, adding that Pakistan seeks to increase exports due to significant decrease in the foreign reserves.

He added that the Pakistani government works on projects targeting citizens, including a creation of jobs for young people in addition to housing projects.”— Agencies — Agencies