Prime Minister Imran asks rich countries to do more for fragile economies – Business

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistani government steps up diplomatic efforts to launch consultations at the United Nations for collective action on debt relief for developing countries, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday called on wealthy countries to more for fragile economies than simply suspending debt service.

In a telephone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh Sisi, Mr Khan said that measures such as the suspension of debt were useful for struggling economies, but that “more measures were needed to revive the economies of the countries”. developing countries “.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Khan had called Mr Sisi to discuss his call for a “global initiative on debt relief” for developing countries.

He said countries with fragile economies were facing an “unprecedented” health and economic crisis.

In a phone conversation with Sisi, the prime minister says the suspension of debt service is not enough

The Prime Minister said people in these poorer countries face the “difficult choice” of dying from coronavirus or from hunger.

Prime Minister Khan launched an international appeal for debt relief on April 12. He had urged world leaders to help developing countries cope with the impact of Covid-19 through debt relief and restructuring so that fiscal space could be created for them to carry out activities. relief in their countries.

Pakistan then welcomed the debt relief measures announced by G20 countries, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for developing countries. But, Mr Khan now says these measures can free up resources, which were originally intended to be used for debt servicing, to deal with the crisis and its socio-economic impact, but developing countries would need more .

Mr Khan, in his conversation with Mr Sisi, called for closer collaboration to develop “a comprehensive plan” to turn the crisis caused by Covid-19 into an opportunity for economic recovery.

Mr Sisi, the statement said, backed Mr Khan’s debt relief initiative.

Pakistan is convening a group of interested countries at the UN to begin consultations to come up with a comprehensive solution to the debt challenges of developing countries amid Covid-19.

“The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister will contact a number of world leaders to discuss the need for a coordinated and comprehensive solution to the debt problem,” FO spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui said during the meeting. weekly press briefing.

Posted in Dawn, 1 May 2020

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