United States to evaluate Pakistan's bailout request on merit

Finance Minister Asad Umar speaks in a video message. — DawnNewsTV

Lagarde said in a statement that Pakistan requested International Monetary Fund assistance during a meeting with Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar and central bank governor Tarik Bajwa on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Bali. Citing the impact of USA taxes on Chinese imports, however, the International Monetary Fund shaved the outlook for China next year to 6.2 percent, which would be the country's slowest growth since 1990.

The body now expects the USA economy to grow at a rate of 2.5 percent in 2019, a 0.2 percentage point decline from its April estimates.

The report also amplified worries about Global trade, echoing numerous earlier IMF statements, but noted that trade tensions have thus far affected individual sectors more directly than the financial system.

Lagarde said later that she believed Chinese authorities were taking steps to maintain growth, stability and investor confidence amid the trade conflict, but faced a "complicated" balancing act to keep its fiscal situation under control.

"In the United States, momentum is still strong as fiscal stimulus continues to increase, but the forecast for 2019 has been revised down due to recently announced trade measures, including the tariffs imposed on $200 billion of US imports from China", IMF report said.

Lagarde said that domestic revenue mobilisation, which stood at five per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was too low for to elevate the Nigerian economy to the level it should be.

The U.S. and Chinese exchanges of penalty tariffs in their dispute isn't helping, she said.

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It had warned how the United States and China was making the world a "poorer and more risky place" as the nations remain locked in a tit-for-tat trade conflict, slapping strings of tariffs on each other.

A raising of US interest rates has also helped send emerging market currencies into a tail spin, as countries that borrowed heavily in dollars race to pay back their debt.

He said that without free trade, there would be no hope of helping millions of people escape dire poverty.

"Trade tensions have escalated, policy uncertainties have increased in a number of countries, and some emerging market economies are facing financial-market pressures", Tobias Adrian, financial counsellor and director of the monetary and capital markets department of the IMF, said. "We will get out of this crisis". During the meeting the current level of Pak-World Bank cooperation was reviewed.

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

Her statements indicated that Pakistan could be forced to disclose the full extent and terms of Chinese lending it received in recent years as part of its participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, China's vast global infrastructure-spending programme.

"That is going to trigger some outflows of capital that has flown very strongly from advanced economies to emerging markets in recent years", Adrian said at a briefing in Bali on Wednesday.

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