ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the Saudi Arabia’s $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan finalized during the recent visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to the Kingdom and termed it a highly positive development as it would lend direly needed financial support to our ailing economy and improve the confidence of businessmen and investors.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan’s forex reserves have tumbled down to a dangerous level while the country was facing serious fiscal deficit and huge debt obligations. In these circumstances, the Saudi Arabia’s package in the form of $3 billion as balance of payments support for one year and another $3 billion in deferred payments on oil imports for three years would provide crucial breathing space to the economy and help it to move forward towards recovery.
He said that Pakistan was importing 110,000 barrels of crude per day from Saudi Arabia and the facility of deferred payments would help the government in dealing with the balance of payment crisis. He said that Pakistan was facing the current account deficit of $18 billion and hoped that the measures taken by the government to improve exports would bear fruits in reducing trade deficit and improving forex reserves.
He was hopeful that the government’s efforts to approach friendly countries and IMF for financial support and loans would improve the confidence of private sector and revitalize the business activities in the country. However, he urged that the government should take further measures to create an enabling environment for the growth of business activities and bring drastic reforms in taxation system that would help in improving the tax revenue of the country.
Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan held huge mineral reserves in Balochistan which remained untapped so far due to many factors. However, he appreciated the efforts of the government to lure Saudi investors to tap these reserves as exploitation of these resources would bring billions of dollars to the country and play vital role in strengthening the economy.
Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the business community would extend full support to the government in all its endeavors aimed at improving Pakistan’s trade and exports and promoting economic interests of the country.