Asad Umar's Exit: Causes and Effects on Pakistan Economy

Who removed Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar and why? What was expected of him? Did he fail to deliver it? What are the qualifications of Dr. Hafeez Shaikh who has been picked to replace Asad Umar? Is he better suited to deliver a deal with IMF and other international financial institutions?

Pakistan's Current Account Deficit. Source: Trading Economics

What are Pakistan's biggest economic issues now? Budget deficits? Trade deficits? Current account imbalances? Lack of exports? Lack of domestic savings and investments? Low FDI? What must the new economic team do to address short term and long term problems with Pakistan's economy that are forcing the nation to seek 13th IMF bailout in last 40 years?

Pakistan's External Debt. Source: Wall Street Journal

ALKS host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (

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Views: 125

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 25, 2019 at 4:14pm

#ImranKhanPrimeMinister of #Pakistan joins 37 World Leaders, inc. #Chinese President Xi Jinping, #Russian President Putin, #IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, #UK Chancellor Philip Hammond & #Italian PM Giuseppe Conte for #China’s #BeltandRoadForum. #CPEC

China's Belt and Road Forum has just kicked off in Beijing with 37 international government and state leaders. Analysts said Chinese President Xi Jinping is heading to the second annual forum with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to Caixin Global, Xi met with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde ahead of the forum wherein the latter expressed willingness to cooperate with Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Xi said he appreciates Lagarde's eagerness to work with the project.

The positive atmosphere of Xi's meeting with Lagarde is expected to extend as the Chinese leader heads to this year's Belt and Road Forum wherein he will promote his government's goals and present benefits for partners under the BRI.

While some experts said Beijing may be hit with critical questions that could trace loopholes on the BRI, other economists said China could counter criticism through highlighting the massive infrastructure project's successful schemes over the past years.

Furthermore, it is expected that Chinese officials and partnering countries will rally behind Xi as he addresses potential questions regarding the BRI that critics may raise during the three-day forum.

Turkey and India have refused to attend the meeting but Beijing will receive a whole host of international leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will also be part of the forum. U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed they will attend.

From the ASEAN bloc, all 10 heads of state will be attending the meeting. Multiple local outlets confirmed that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte touched down in China to show support for the summit.

Amid continued criticism from the United States and other countries who are not keen on supporting the Belt and Road Initiative, China secured over 170 deals with 150 countries. For the past five years, the agreements accounted for over $90 billion in investments.

Among the latest developments is the Malaysia deal that was seemingly terminated in 2017. With the stalled $10.7 billion railway project deal set to push through this time, analysts said it is a sign that Beijing is actually willing to make amends to its Belt and Road terms for the benefit of both sides.

It was also reported that Peru is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as the country prepares to join the BRI movement. The Philippines is also expected to sign a total of five deals with the Chinese government during the forum.

The 2019 Belt and Road Forum will run from April 25-27.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 24, 2019 at 5:58am

#Qatar announces $3 billion in deposits/investments in #Pakistan. It follows #SaudiArabia and #UAE pledging aid packages for the South Asian country. #Riyadh has given a $3 billion loan to Pakistan, while the U.A.E. provided $1 billion. via @business

Pakistan, which got an International Monetary Fund bailout last month, will receive $3 billion in deposits and direct investments from Qatar.

State-run Qatar News Agency reported the investments, citing the gas-rich nation’s foreign minister

It follows Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledging aid packages for the South Asian country. Riyadh has given a $3 billion loan to Pakistan, while the U.A.E. provided $1 billion. Pakistan and the IMF reached an agreement in May on a loan of about $6 billion designed to help the country avert an economic crisis.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 24, 2019 at 6:32am

#Qatar reveals further #investment of $3 billion in #Pakistan, taking Qatar's total investments in Pakistan to $9 billion. It follows the Qatari emir's visit to Pakistan, and comes as an endorsement of Prime Minister #ImranKhan's government.

Qatar will make a further investment of $3bn in Pakistan, it has been revealed.

Doha's cash injection brings the Gulf state's total Pakistani investment to $9bn.

"Want to thank the Emir of Qatar HRH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani for announcing US $3 Billion in #deposits and direct #investments for #Pakistan and for #Qatar's affirmation to further develop relations between the two countries," Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the Pakistani prime minister's adviser on finance, posted on Twitter on Monday morning.

The funding follows the Qatari emir's visit to Pakistan, and comes as an endorsement of Prime Minister Imran Khan's adminstration, said Doha's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"People in Pakistan are struggling to afford the basics, as inflation reaches its highest level in five years," said Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid, reporting from Islamabad.

Pakistan has signed agreements with various nations, including China and Saudi Arabia, but still needed a $6bn bailout package provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loan comes with conditions, such as restricting public spending.

The recent visit of top-level Qatari diplomats and leaders to Islamabad saw deals reached for cooperation in aviation, maritime affairs, higher education, and defence and defence production, Pakistan's GeoTV reported. 


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