Economy on right track, lauds PM

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-Expresses satisfaction over economic progress
-Highlights economic achievements Says current account balance swung upwards to surplus

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said Pakistan’s economy was on right track with significant achievements in exports sector and foreign remittances.
“This strong turnaround is a result of continuing recovery in exports, which rose 20 % compared to June 2020, and record remittances,” he said in a tweet. Imran Khan said, ” MashaAllah, Pakistan’s economy is on the right track”.
He mentioned that current account balance posted deficit of $613 million in July 2019 and a deficit of $100 million in June 2020.
In July 2020, current account balance swung upwards to a surplus of $424 million, he added.
Pakistan’s current account balance swung into a surplus of $424 million in July 2020 after posting a deficit of $100 million in last month.The current account balance improved by 244% in July as compared to the current account deficit of $613 million in same month a year ago, according to a data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday.
This is the fourth monthly surplus since last October, the Central Bank said in a statement. Strong turnaround is due to a continued recovery in exports and record-high remittances, with support from several policy and administrative initiatives by SBP and government, it added.
In July the oversees Pakistanis transferred record remittances worth of $2.768 billion in the corresponding month which is the highest ever amount for the country in a single month while in same month of last year the remittances were recorded at $2.028 billion.
According to the data, the Current Account Balance without official transfers also witnessed a surplus of $401 million in July as compared to the deficit of $716 million in same month of last year.Balance of trade in goods plunged by 11.78 percent from $1.968 billion in July 2019 to $1.736 billion in July this year.
Similarly, balance of trade in services also narrowed by 13.8 percent to $362 million compared to $420 million in July 2019.
As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the current account balance witnessed a surplus of 1.9 percent in the first month of current fiscal year as opposed to deficit of 2.8 percent in the same period of last year.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that Pakistan accorded great importance to strengthening its relations with China as both countries had shared destiny. He further said that strengthening of business-to-business ties of the people of the two countries, was a foremost priority. The prime minister was talking to a delegation of 10 leading Chinese companies, undertaking business ventures in vital sectors including energy, communications, agriculture, science and technology, financial sector and industry, that called on him, PM office media wing in a press release said.
The delegation comprised representative of Power Construction Corporation of China (Power China), China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), China Gezhouba (Group) Pakistan, China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Company Ltd, China Railway Group Limited, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Machinery Engineering Corporation and China Mobile Pakistan Limited.Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and Javed Afridi, CEO Haier were also present. Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Finance Advisor Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Commerce Advisor Abdur Razaq Dawood, Chairman Board of Investment Atif R. Bokhari, Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa also attended the meeting.
The prime minister assured the Chinese investors that his government would accord highest priority to provision of every possible facilitation to the Chinese investors. He also asked the Chinese business houses to establish their regional offices in Pakistan.
The Chinese investors thanked the prime minister for his personal interest in facilitating Chinese investors and business community in Pakistan.The participants expressed satisfaction over the business-friendly policies of the present government, especially in improving ‘ease of doing business’. They reaffirmed commitment to further expand their investments and explore more business opportunities in various sectors of the economy.
“Various reforms introduced at policy and implementation level have enhanced confidence of the Chinese business community and Pakistan is being looked upon as a major partner in development in the post COVID-19 environment”, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, on the occasion, said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday, emphasizing the important role of the international community and that of Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) key strategic priorities in resolving the ongoing conflicts in different parts of the world, underscored the importance of just resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute for durable peace and stability in South Asia. The prime minister was talking to President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron who called on him here. The IPU president is on an official visit to Pakistan, PM office media wing in a press release said.
The prime minister, in his interaction with the IPU president, highlighted the growing wave of ‘Hindutva’ under the RSS-BJP dispensation, which had emerged as a serious threat not only for minorities in India but also for regional peace and security. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani also attended the meeting.