US$3 billion from UAE will help meet current account challenges: Pakistan State Bank Governor

by Muhammad Aamir

ABU DHABI, 23rd January, 2019 (WAM) -- The reciprocated nurturing of friendly ties between the UAE and Pakistan was at the forefront yesterday, when Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, and State Bank of Pakistan, SBP, signed an agreement to help Islamabad overcome its current account challenges.

Tariq Bajwa, Governor of the SBP, who signed the agreement in Abu Dhabi, to formalise an US$3 billion (AED11 billion) deposit into the central bank of Pakistan, said, "It will help us in meeting current account challenges."

In 2018, the UAE announced to deposit US$3 billion with the State Bank of Pakistan, under the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to bolster Pakistan's economy.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has made two trips to UAE since assuming power in August 2018. These visits were aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries and discussing mutual interests. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also visited Islamabad earlier in January, his first trip to Pakistan since 2007.

"The UAE has always supported Pakistan economically, and Pakistan has also reciprocated in the same spirit," Bajwa said, adding, that this also reflects the strong bonds that the two countries have.

In a video message to ADFD, published on the Fund's twitter account following the signing of the agreement, Bajwa said the UAE government assistance will ride over the short term difficulty Pakistan is facing. "We are thankful to His Highness, the government, and people of the UAE, and Abu Dhabi Fund, for the support that they are providing us at this difficult juncture."

ADFD has so far provided AED1.5 billion to fund sustainable development projects in Pakistan in sectors like transport, water and agriculture, healthcare, and education.

The UAE has provided a total of US$731.326 million to Pakistan for 328 projects under UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE-PAP, in infrastructure development, education, health, water and humanitarian fields. The UAE also provided US$114.354 million for six vaccination campaigns in the second and third phases the assistance programme.