Pakistan expects economy to grow more than 3.5%


Miftah Ismail. File

Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail expects the economy to grow more than 3.5% for the fiscal year that started in July, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday.

Ismail predicted inflation, running at the highest in 47 years and the second-highest in Asia, was close to its peak and would average 15% for the year, the report said.

Curbs on luxury items may remain in place for longer than currently anticipated, Ismail was quoted as saying.

 Miftah Ismail has endorsed estimates by experts that Pakistan’s losses from floods stood at $10 billion.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the finance minister also spelled out his economic plan.

Miftah Ismail said that he would rely on old-school methods to control a balance of payment crisis.

The minister “wants to break a boom-and-bust cycle that’s played out for decades, and help the nation to finally learn to live within its means,” Bloomberg said. Miftah Ismail said that import payments should equal dollar inflows, which means curbs on luxury items may remain in place for longer than currently anticipated, the American media outlet quoted him as saying.

The finance minister said that vegetable prices – which shot up after floods – were seeing a reduction after the recent government measures.

Miftah said that inflation running at the highest in 47 years at 27.3%, was close to its peak and would average 15% for the year.

The finance minister also said that PAKISTAN will secure a $1 billion investment within one month.

Agricultural cooperation: Pakistan and China are enhancing agricultural cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while Pakistan is ready to become food basket for China, Commercial Counsellor, Pakistan Embassy Beijing, Ghulam Qadir said.

He made these remarks while addressing International Forum on Development and Investment of Modern Supply Chain of Food on sidelines of 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held here.

Ghulam Qadir pointed out that rice export from Pakistan registered phenomenal growth in the last decade, adding, “In 2010 Pakistan’s exports of rice to China were only 3000 MT but now Pakistan is exporting nearly one million MT rice annually.”

He expressed the confidence that Pakistan had a potential to become a food basket of China, by utilizing its fertile and vast arable land.

Pakistan, he said, was looking forward to enhancing the bilateral food supply chain and agricultural cooperation by using China’s latest technologies and methods.

“We are looking forward to China’s investment and technology transfer for agricultural modernization and better productivity in Pakistan. We will also enhance our bilateral trade by using the latest methods like e-commerce and online platforms,” he added.

Ghulam Qadir attended opening ceremony held on August 31 as well as participated in several activities including signing ceremony of Royal Group and JW Group, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Roundtable Seminar on Digital Trade with relevant organizations and summit Forum on China’s International Economic Cooperation “Going Global.”

More than 120 companies and organisations, such as well-known law firms, leading asset evaluation agencies, large business service providers in China and abroad, and national-level human resources industrial parks are attending the exhibition online and offline.

Among them, many are the world’s top 500 firms and leading companies in their respective industries.

The five-day supply chain and business services exhibition of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) featuring renowned Chinese and international business service providers and their achievements in innovation will conclude on Sept.5.

Separately, imports of onions and tomatoes from Afghanistan through Torkham are continuing with 222 trucks of tomatoes crossing the Pak-Afghan border, customs officials said on Sunday.

The customs official who wished not to be named, confirmed that in the last 4 days, 6,000 metric tons of tomatoes were imported in 222 trucks and 9,000 metric tons of onions in 308 trucks were also imported.

The federal government recently waived duty on onion and tomato imports from Afghanistan and Iran in order to ensure cheap vegetables to the people of Pakistan who already suffered and were affected because of the flood.

The customs officials are deployed day and night for the clearance of onion and tomato vehicles at the Torkham border, FPCCI Convener for Pakistan-Afghanistan and Central Asian States Shahid Khan Shinwari  said.



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