Pakistan economic growth may surge to 7% in 2 years

Pakistan Sees Growth Surging to 7% as China Invests Billions

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In the last two years of his current term, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is aiming at 7 percent economic growth rate, according to a report in BloombergBusiness. Growth for the current fiscal year ending in June is targeted at 5 percent.

Below is an excerpt from the Bloomberg report by Kamran Haider:

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Pakistan will see its annual economic growth rate surge to 7 percent in two years as it reaps the benefits from China and others investing more than $40 billion in infrastructure, according to the Finance Ministry’s top bureaucrat.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is showing investors he’s serious about implementing economic reforms by heading toward completion of an International Monetary Fund loan program, Finance Secretary Waqar Masood Khan said in an interview in Islamabad.

“We still face challenges in achieving a higher growth,” Khan said. “Compared to our potential, our growth rate is significantly low.”

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Sharif is targeting growth of 5 percent for the current fiscal year ending in June, an eight-year high, as he works with the IMF to turn around an economy hindered by energy shortages and terrorism. China’s plans to invest $46 billion in an economic corridor are fueling optimism that growth is set to reach new heights.

Since Pakistan started taking IMF loans in the 1950s, it has struggled to see them through. It came close under former military president Pervez Musharraf, who didn’t take the last installment of that loan.

Khan said completing an IMF loan program “is always very tough.” He declined to say whether the government would seek to borrow more from the IMF in the future.

“We will cross the bridge, when we come to it,” he said.

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