UAE to loan $1 bln, roll over another $2 bln to Pakistan

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The United Arab Emirates on Thursday agreed to lend $1 billion to Pakistan and roll over an existing $2 billion loan already in central bank reserves of the South Asian nation, Pakistan’s information minister said.

Pakistan’s prime minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in the UAE earlier Thursday on a two-day visit.

Sharif met UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan before the announcement came, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement.

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Sharif is also scheduled to meet other UAE officials and business leaders to seek business and economic opportunities.

As a ninth IMF review to clear the release of the next $1.1 billion tranche of funds to Pakistan has been pending since September, the external financing is critical for the country’s broken economy.

Pakistan faces a severe economic crisis with its central bank foreign reserves this week likely to fall to a critical level of below $5 billion, which is barely enough for three weeks of imports.

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