Islamabad [Pakistan], January 8 (ANI): Amid the depleting foreign reserves in the country, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 10 to seek an emergency cash deposit from its west Asian partner.
Shehbaz Sharif would fly to the UAE on Tuesday along with his Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari where they are expected to be joined by Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir, who is already on a trip to the middle east, sources confirmed to The Express Tribune newspaper on Sunday.
The Pakistan prime minister is reportedly undertaking the visit in connection with the worsening economic crises in the country. It comes as foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are reduced to just USD 4.5 billion and left with an import cover of only under a month.
The slump follows the repayment of loans worth USD 1.2 billion to Dubai-based commercial banks. The development left Pakistan with an import cover of only under a month, as the country grapples with a deteriorating economic crisis while trying to bring down imports amid a dollar shortage, Geo News reported citing sources.
The report said a breakup shows that USD 600 million was returned to Emirates Bank, while it repaid USD 420 million to Dubai Islamic Bank.
According to the report, the Pakistani government would try to mobilize foreign funding worth USD 1.5 billion in the upcoming International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan next week.
Before the trip to UAE, Sharif will travel to Geneva on Sunday. He will lead a high-level delegation comprising federal ministers to Switzerland where he will co-host the conference — along with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres — on January 9.
The conference aims to assist Pakistan’s people and government recover more effectively from the recent devastating floods.
“Maybe our friendly countries are waiting for the donors’ conference so they can help us (and provide loans),” Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told Geo News’ Shahzeb Khanzada last month. (ANI)