QUESTION: Please provide a read-out of Deputy Secretary Nides’ meeting with Pakistani Finance Minister Shaikh.
ANSWER: Deputy Secretary Tom Nides and Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh met on Tuesday, September 27, to convene the fifth meeting of the Economics & Finance Working Group under the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.
Finance Minister Shaikh updated the U.S. delegation on the Government of Pakistan’s economic prospects and its continuing commitment to reforms to accelerate growth. He assured the U.S. delegation of Pakistan’s continuing commitment to work with the International Monetary Fund. They also discussed efforts to expand commercial ties between the United States and Pakistan.
The Deputy Secretary briefed the Finance Minister on the “New Silk Road” vision for expanding the flow of goods, ideas, and people across South and Central Asia that Secretary Clinton laid out on September 22 at the New Silk Road ministerial hosted by Germany and co-chaired by the United States and Afghanistan. The U.S. side welcomed the ongoing Pakistan-India dialogue process and expressed hope that the two sides would make progress in expanding cross-border trade.
This Economics & Finance Working Group meeting follows on recent high-level working groups on law enforcement and counterterrorism, energy, and market access issues under the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue framework. Planning is underway for future working group engagement over the next several months.