About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
On June 16, 2010, National Security Staff Senior Director for International Economics David Lipton met with a delegation of senior officials led by Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to discuss the state of Pakistan's economy and the future of the stabilization program.
The discussions focused on how the two sides could best work together to stabilize Pakistan's economy and create expanded employment opportunities. Federal Minister for Finance Dr. Hafeez Shaikh updated the U.S. side on Pakistan's 2010-11 budget and its ongoing economic reforms. The United States committed itself to continue to support Pakistan in its economic reform. Finance Minister Shaikh agreed to maintain the momentum of Pakistan's stabilization program.
Both sides also agreed on the importance of making sure that U.S. assistance supports mutually-agreed priorities in the areas of energy security, food security, and human development. They agreed to continue working together in the future. The two sides discussed options to reach sustainable fiscal deficit targets as well as means to increase government revenues. The group took note of the need to bring structural changes to improve the performance of public sector enterprises, and reduce inefficient subsidies, while effectively targeting government resources to benefit Pakistan's people most in need.
This productive exchange builds on earlier visits to Islamabad by David Lipton, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin, and Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, and to Washington by the Federal Minister for Finance. This series of meetings follows the joint commitment of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi for continued high-level engagement on economics and finance in the bilateral Strategic Dialogue.