The IMF remains in discussions with Pakistan after that country formally requested financing assistance late last year, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday (January 17) in Washington.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar had suggested that his country may decide not to seek aid from the IMF in an event earlier in the week according to news reports.
“IMF staff are continuing discussions with the Pakistani authorities, with our counterparts, toward reaching an understanding on policy priorities, on reforms to stabilize the economy and lay the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth. So that's where we are. We've had the formal request for financial assistance, we followed up with that and the discussions continue,” Rice told reporters.
The IMF noted this week that Pakistan took a positive step and has implemented the recommendations of the IMF’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) by publishing critical data through the National Summary Data Page (NSDP).
The e-GDDS was established by the IMF in 2015 to support improved data transparency, encourage statistical development, and help create synergies between data dissemination and surveillance.
As the partial US government shutdown impasse continues for a 27th day, Rice was asked if the IMF had studied the economic impact.
“Perhaps what I would say is the longer the shutdown is in effect the bigger effect, impact it will have on the economy. So we encourage the U.S. authorities in both congress and the executive branch, to work together in the spirit of compromise to pass a funding bill that can reopen the federal offices,” Rice said.
The IMF will release its latest global economic forecast next Monday (January 21 1400 CET) in Davos, Switzerland.
Rice was also asked about the potential damage to the UK economy under a so-called “no-deal” Brexit scenario. He restated the IMF assessment that Great Britain’s exiting from the European Union (Brexit) will have negative economic impact consequences for both sides.
“As we see it, all likely Brexit outcomes will entail costs for the UK economy because they involve departing from that frictionless single market with the European Union that exists today. And then we've said that the higher the impediments, the higher the cost,” Rice said.
He added, “leaving without a withdrawal agreement, the so called no deal Brexit, so leaving without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for the future relationship with the EU is the most significant near-term risk to the UK economy as we see it.”