The IMF is scheduled to hold technical talks with Pakistan beginning November 7 on how to best support that country’s economy, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday (November 1) in Washington.
An IMF staff mission is headed to Islamabad next week to work out details of a support plan, Rice said, noting that any agreement would then need to be put to the IMF Board for approval.
“We expect those discussions to begin on November the 7th. So an IMF staff mission will go to Islamabad and initiate discussions with the authorities. And, of course, the objectives of that program to help stabilize the Pakistan economy, put in place the preconditions for sustained inclusive growth, and modalities of that would be announced once we’ve reached a staff level agreement.”
And the IMF believes that Argentina is making progress toward restoring growth.
“Clearly the name of the game now is implementation. So we have the program agreement. We have the measures agreed. And I think the momentum has begun. There’s been good progress so far, but it’s early days,” Rice said.
“I think what I would say is that for the IMF, we’re confident that steady implementation of the policies that underpin this program together with strong support from the international community will indeed allow Argentina to return to macroeconomic stability and to fulfill its economic potential for the benefit of all Argentines, of course, which is the objective,” Rice added.
Greece has the option to buy back IMF debt obligations and transfer them to less expensive financing through the ESM, Rice said.
“On the whole question of buyback and so on, it’s a decision for the Greek authorities to make obviously, and that’s in the context of they’re a liability management strategy. They certainly have a range of options and that’s one of them,” Rice said.
Greece has exited its program engagement with the IMF and has eliminated its extraordinarily high fiscal deficits (from a deficit of 15 percent of GDP in 2009 to a surplus of just over one percent in 2017) and brought its external transactions, its current account, into near balance.
“Greece is in a strong position following the decision by the European Partners on additional debt relief and the buildup of a large cash buffer supported by the final ESM disbursement. So, it can afford to be a patient in a way in terms of coming to the decision, which again is, it’s a prerogative.”