Islamabad: Pakistan has been following Iron Brother China on economic revival amid the COVID-19 as Beijing performed the best among the world, a top government official said.
Speaking to Gwadar Pro, a senior government minister said China had always supported Pakistan during the challenges.
“The government has taken steps to come out of the COVID-19 impact. We are following China. They have performed the best among the world. We are seeking guidance from them. China is our all-weather friend,” he said.
The official said the way China had come out of COVID-19 even stronger had surprised the whole world. “China is now in a position to guide the world. We, as a close friend, are always cooperating. China is benefitting us everywhere,” he added.
Earlier, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said the government had taken measures to deal with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sheikh said that the pandemic had negative effects on Pakistan and the whole world’s country’s economies. He said the demand for Pakistan’s exports had fallen as the economies of the countries that Pakistan exported were weakened.
He said remittances from expatriates were affected as countries where they were based, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, were weakened. “Economic activity in Pakistan was reduced which in turn reduced people’s income and taxes,” he added.
Sheikh said that in Pakistan, the provinces had a lot of importance and the provinces and the federal government were working together.
A World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week said Pakistan’s economy could grow by only 1%, inflation may cross above 10% and rate of unemployment will further jump by the end of this fiscal year.
The WEO report 2020 this year is titled “a long and difficult ascent,” which said that advanced economies were recovering from the adverse effects of the Great Lockdown faster than earlier projected.
Pakistan’s economy, which in the last fiscal year contracted by 0.4%, is projected to grow by 1% in this fiscal year 2020-21, the WEO report said.
The 1% growth rate is less than half of the official target of 2.1% and broadly in line with the projections made by the World Bank.
The WEO noted that inflation in Pakistan could be 10.2% on an annualised basis, which by 2025 is expected to remain around 8.6% and the unemployment rate, which till this fiscal year was 4.5% may further jump to 5.1%. The IMF projected over 13.3% increase in unemployment in Pakistan within a year.
However, Iron Brother China’s economy recovered faster than global expectations from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to its latest official figures. The world’s second-biggest economy saw growth of 4.9% between July and September, compared to the same quarter last year.
China is now leading the charge for a global recovery based on its latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data. The key economic growth figures suggest that China’s recovery is gathering pace.
China’s trade figures for September also pointed to a strong recovery, with exports growing by 9.9% and imports growing by 13.2% compared to September last year. Over the previous two decades, China had seen an average economic growth rate of about 9%.