Finance Ministers of Pakistan and China Meet in Washington

Finance Ministers of Pakistan and China Meet in Washington

In a significant diplomatic move, the Finance Ministers of Pakistan and China convened in Washington D.C., underscoring the deep-rooted ties between the two nations and their commitment to further enhancing cooperation on various fronts.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue of Pakistan, met with his Chinese counterpart, Lan Fo’an, to deliberate on matters of mutual interest and bolstering economic collaboration. The meeting held particular significance amidst recent events, with Minister Aurangzeb conveying heartfelt condolences on behalf of Pakistan for the tragic terrorist attack against Chinese nationals within Pakistan. He reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Chinese citizens within its borders.

Recognizing China as an “all-weather friend,” Minister Aurangzeb lauded the invaluable contributions made by China to Pakistan’s development, particularly through flagship initiatives like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He emphasized the pivotal role of CPEC in transforming infrastructure and fostering economic growth in Pakistan, highlighting that Phase-I focused on infrastructure development while Phase-II aimed to capitalize on assets through the operationalization of Special Economic Zones and the relocation of Chinese Private-Owned Companies (POCs).

Expressing Pakistan’s gratitude, Minister Aurangzeb thanked the Chinese government for its support in bridging external financing gaps, particularly through the provision of SAFE deposits and their regular roll-overs. He disclosed Pakistan’s plans to embark on a larger and extended program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and sought China’s continued support in this endeavor.

During the discussions, Minister Aurangzeb outlined the government’s priorities, which encompassed broadening the tax base, addressing energy sector challenges, and undertaking comprehensive reforms of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to enhance efficiency and accountability.

A significant point of discussion revolved around Pakistan’s intention to tap into the Chinese Bond Market, with plans to launch Panda Bonds during the fiscal year 2025-26. Both ministers acknowledged the importance of continuing their collaboration in international financial institutions to advance shared interests and objectives on the global stage.

The meeting between the Finance Ministers of Pakistan and China epitomizes the enduring friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries, underpinned by a shared vision for economic prosperity and regional stability. As they reaffirm their commitment to closer cooperation, their discussions pave the way for strengthened ties and mutual growth opportunities in the years ahead.