The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Jameel Ahmad, provided a reassuring update to investors on Friday, affirming that the nation is well-positioned to meet the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) end-September targets for net international reserves and net domestic assets. 

Ahmad said that Pakistan is “very comfortably” placed to meet IMF targets. 

This declaration was made by Governor SBP during a meeting with prominent international investors held on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank gatherings in Marrakech, Morocco.  

RELATED STORIES

The meeting was organised by prominent global banks such as Barclays, JP Morgan, Standard Bank, and Jefferies. 

According to an official press release from the central bank, investors were apprised of recent macroeconomic developments, the government’s response to prevailing challenges, and the economic outlook of Pakistan and were provided with the opportunity to seek clarification on these matters. 

Governor Ahmad informed investors that the current policy framework is strategically oriented towards achieving stability by addressing prevailing macroeconomic imbalances. 

He highlighted that the SBP had taken early measures to tighten monetary policy in response to escalating global inflation. 

Nevertheless, certain domestic obstacles, such as the 2022 floods, had complicated the SBP’s efforts to combat inflation. 

The governor noted that these stabilisation measures have begun to yield positive outcomes. Inflation, after reaching a peak of 38.0 per cent in May 2023, decreased to 31.4 per cent in September 2023 and is anticipated to continue on a downward trajectory in the coming months. 

Furthermore, Pakistan’s external account has exhibited substantial improvements, with foreign exchange reserves being steadily replenished. 

Governor Ahmad expressed confidence that inflation would significantly decrease in the latter half of the fiscal year. 

He emphasised that the stand-by arrangement with the IMF is anticipated to provide essential support for ongoing economic stabilisation efforts. 

In addition, he reported that foreign exchange reserves have improved considerably, marked by an increase from a low of $3.1 billion in January 2023 to $7.6 billion at the end of September 2023. 

This reserve enhancement was largely bolstered by non-debt-creating inflows amid favourable market conditions. 

According to Geo, the Governor further revealed that the SBP has successfully met the forward book target of $4.2 billion for end-September 2023, as agreed with the IMF, with a substantial surplus. 

Likewise, the SBP is confidently poised to fulfil other end-September IMF targets, including net international reserves (NIR) and net domestic assets (NDA). 

Concluding his statement to investors, Governor Ahmad conveyed that Pakistan is diligently addressing long-standing structural deficiencies.  

He expressed optimism that, with the support of both multilateral and bilateral partners, the nation is on course to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the medium term.