Pakistan to Repay Foreign Debt of $22 Billion in Next 12 Months

Pakistan is scheduled to repay nearly $22 billion in foreign debt and interest over the next 12 months in order to avoid default, as per data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

According to a report by Express Tribune, it has been strongly suggested that following the successful resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, Pakistan should commence discussions with bilateral creditors and partner countries on ways to restructure its foreign debt.

According to the central bank data, Pakistan is expected to repay a total debt of $21.95 billion in the next one year. This translates into $19.34 billion in principal and a further $2.6 billion in interest on the debt. A deeper dive into the data shows that Pakistan has to pay $3.95 billion in one month, another $4.63 billion in the next three months, and a further $13.37 billion in the final eight months of the period under review.

Pakistan has to repay approximately $80 billion in foreign debt over the next three and a half years (from February 2023 until June 2026). Meanwhile, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have been depleted to just $3.1 billion, which is less than a three-week import cover.

According to Arif Habib Limited (AHL), Pakistan can get a lot of breathing space from its external debt obligations by opting for debt re-profiling instead of restructuring. Following the imminent arrival of the IMF bailout soon enough, the re-profiling of billions in short-term bilateral and commercial debt from friendly countries is a less disruptive option to effectively create some breathing space and put the economy back into recovery mode.

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