Pakistan formally requests International Monetary Fund for bailout

11 October, 2018, 23:00 | Author: Regina Silva
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The global finance agency dropped its projection for world economic growth by two-tenths of a percentage point for both 2018 and 2019 to 3.7 percent, the first time it had trimmed its economic outlook in more than two years.

Pakistani Finance minister Asad Umar, who is attending the fund's annual meeting in Bali, announced earlier this week that the government would seek talks with the IMF on a "stabilisation recovery programme".

The fund kept its forecast for growth in the Chinese economy unchanged at 6.6 percent this year.

In addition to the trade barriers, the International Monetary Fund said higher interest rates are also contributing to slowed economic growth.

She said: "We certainly hope we don't move in either direction of a trade war or a currency war".

With weakening growth and uncertainties over trade, smoothing the economic impact of structural adjustments and de-risking "is a very hard act of judgment that policymakers in China have to struggle with", Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF's fiscal affairs department, told reporters at a separate briefing on its Fiscal Monitor, a report that tracks the state of countries' public finances.

The report said, "Argentina has a currency that is now 20 percent cheap to fair value, and the International Monetary Fund assumes this will already help reduce its current account deficit from 4.9 percent of GDP in 2017 to 3.7 percent of GDP in 2018 and 3.2 percent of GDP in 2019".

"It's tempting to be a bit depressed about this perspective but I'm actually hopeful because there is a clear appetite to improve and expand trade", she said.

Despite the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases, financial conditions "have eased further" in the U.S.as equity valuations have stayed lofty.

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Further threats to global economy include "unsettled" politics and the escalating trade tensions between the USA and China.

One of the most comprehensive studies of the state of banking and markets since the financial crisis warns that "dangerous undercurrents" are a rising threat to the world economy.

The IMF and World Bank meetings, attended by more than 19,000 delegates, showed no sign of disruption from an offshore quake early Thursday morning between Bali and Java island that killed three people.

"An IMF team will visit Islamabad in the coming weeks to initiate discussions for a possible IMF-supported economic programme", Lagarde added.

Thursday's magnitude 6.0 quake offshore north of Bali shook the area where the IMF-World Bank delegates are meeting, but there were no signs of significant damage.

The requirements are likely to shine a spotlight on the extent, composition and terms of Pakistan's debts to China for infrastructure projects as part of Beijing's massive Belt and Road building program.

The annual summit for global finance brings together central bankers and finance ministers, development experts and civil society groups from across the globe.

"It's in very initial stages, the negotiations haven't started or matured yet, but this is something that we may look towards", Muhammad Hammad Azhar, State Minister for Revenue, said.

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