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Pakistani And Chinese Finance Ministers Hold Talks on Bilateral Cooperation

During a recent interview with Chinese TV, Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, met with his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Lan Fo’an, to discuss bilateral cooperation.

In the meeting, Minister Aurangzeb conveyed deep condolences on behalf of Pakistan’s leadership and people following a recent terrorist attack. He reiterated Pakistan’s dedication to ensuring the safety of Chinese citizens within its borders.

Aurangzeb underscored ongoing positive discussions with financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aimed at stabilizing Pakistan’s economy. He stressed Pakistan’s commitment to reform agendas aimed at bolstering economic strength, noting that repayment of Chinese loans would commence after the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) begins.

He praised China as an “all-weather friend” for its significant contributions to Pakistan’s development, particularly through initiatives like CPEC and support in international financial institutions.

Highlighting Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, Aurangzeb credited China for its consistent role in Pakistan’s development, particularly through CPEC.

Aurangzeb emphasized that Phase I of CPEC focused on infrastructure development, while Phase II would involve asset monetization via Special Economic Zones and relocation of Chinese Private-Owned Companies (POCs). The government is determined to expedite Phase II progress, with appreciation for China’s support, including SAFE deposits and financial assistance for external financing gaps.

Efforts to expand the tax base and reduce expenditures to lower inflation were also discussed, along with priorities such as broadening the tax base, resolving energy sector issues, and revamping State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Additionally, Aurangzeb disclosed Pakistan’s interest in accessing the Chinese Bond Market, planning to launch a Panda Bond in the fiscal year 2025-26.

Both parties affirmed the importance of continued cooperation in international institutions, reflecting the enduring bond and commitment between Pakistan and China for mutual economic progress and collaboration.

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