Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath — Zafar Masud on the Growth Potential of Pakistan’s Economy (17/4/2024)

Zafar Masud (President & CEO – BOP and Chairman Pakistan Banks’ Association) shared his insights on the trajectory of Pakistan’s economy on the news show Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath. Mr. Masud articulated a compelling narrative of improvement and optimism, emphasizing the importance of making the right decisions. He also highlighted key indicators and developments signaling progress in the nation’s economic landscape.

Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath – Interview Highlights

In interview video above of Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath, Mr. Zafar Masud discusses the economic situation of Pakistan and the potential for improvement due to recent developments. Here are the key points:

  • Positive Developments:
    • A Saudi delegation visited Pakistan and expressed interest in investing.
    • The IMF (International Monetary Fund) seems open to supporting Pakistan.
    • There is a sense of political continuity and stability.
    • Administrative actions have controlled inflation and the dollar rate.
  • Challenges:
    • High inflation rate.
    • Interest rate at 22%, hindering growth.
    • Depreciated exchange rate.
    • Upcoming budget with structural changes.
    • Banks’ profits are low due to government borrowing and minimum savings rate.
  • Hopeful Outlook:
    • Saudi investment could improve foreign flows and open the debt market.
    • A stable exchange rate and lower interest rates are expected in the long term.
    • Banks are playing a role in supporting the government despite challenges.

Overall, the discussion is cautiously optimistic about Pakistan’s economic future, with the qualification that careful measures are needed to avoid future crises.

See also: Zafar Masud talks at Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Saath Show

Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath

Host: Kamran Khan – Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath


  • You mentioned earlier about political continuity. Can you elaborate on how this is important for investors?
  • We’ve heard various figures for Saudi investment, like $25 billion or $17 billion. What do you think is a realistic number?
  • Following these investments, how will this impact inflation and interest rates?
  • There’s concern about foreign reserves. How will this situation improve?
  • Banks seem to be struggling with low profits due to government borrowing. How can this system be sustainable?
  • Najam Ali mentioned that banks are interested in a rate cut. Why is this, and how will it impact banks?

Zafar Masood


  • Political continuity shows a certain level of predictability to investors. They feel more confident that policies won’t change rapidly, creating risks.
  • Honestly, $5 billion seems like a more realistic starting point for Saudi investment.
  • Lower inflation and interest rates are likely in the long term if these investments come through. They’ll improve the overall economic situation.
  • The influx of foreign currency from these investments will help improve foreign reserves.
  • It’s true that banks are facing challenges. The minimum savings rate set by the State Bank is squeezing their profits. A rate cut could help alleviate this pressure.
  • Banks are interested in a rate cut because the current minimum savings rate is reducing their profit margins on savings accounts. However, we need to be cautious about cutting rates too quickly due to inflation concerns.

Pakistan’s Economy: A Glimpse of Hope with Cautious Optimism

Pakistan’s economic outlook was the center of discussion in a recent interview between Kamran Khan in Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath, the program host, and two financial experts: Zafar Masood, Chairman of the Pakistan Bank Association, and Najam Ali, CEO of Next Capital. The conversation, filled with cautious optimism, highlighted both positive developments and underlying challenges faced by the nation’s economy.

Positive Developments Fueling Hope

A key point of discussion was the recent visit by a Saudi delegation to Pakistan. Their expressed interest in investing in the country has created a wave of optimism. The delegation’s praise for Pakistan and the Saudi Foreign Minister’s presentation outlining potential Saudi capital inflow were seen as positive signs. Additionally, the panelists viewed the IMF’s openness to supporting Pakistan as another encouraging development.

Stability: A Boon for Investors

The Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath interview emphasized the significance of political continuity and stability for attracting foreign investment. Zafar Masood explained how a sense of predictability in policies assures investors that their investments won’t be jeopardized by sudden changes. This stability is viewed as a positive step towards a more attractive investment climate.

The Saudi Factor: A Potential Game Changer

The discussion in Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath delved into the details of the anticipated Saudi investment. While initial estimates ranged from a staggering $25 billion to $17 billion, Zafar Masood offered a more grounded perspective, suggesting $5 billion as a more realistic starting point. This investment, if materialized, is expected to trigger a domino effect, improving foreign currency inflows and potentially opening Pakistan’s currently closed debt market. Panelists believe this could significantly improve the country’s overall economic situation.

Challenges Remain: Inflation, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates

Despite the positive developments, the Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath interview acknowledged significant challenges. The high inflation rate and the cripplingly high-interest rate of 22% were identified as major hurdles to economic growth. The panelists acknowledged the government’s efforts to control inflation and stabilize the exchange rate through administrative actions. However, they cautioned that long-term solutions rely on the success of the upcoming budget with its focus on structural changes.

The Banking Conundrum: Balancing Profits and National Interest

The interview also shed light on the challenges faced by Pakistan’s banking sector. The government’s heavy reliance on borrowing from banks, coupled with the minimum savings rate set by the State Bank, has squeezed bank profits. Najam Ali pointed out that banks are advocating for a rate cut to improve their profit margins. However, Zafar Masood cautioned against rushing into a rate cut due to the potential for further fueling inflation. He emphasized the need for a measured approach, balancing the needs of the banks with the larger economic picture.

Conclusion: A Cautiously Optimistic Outlook

The Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath interview on Pakistan’s economic outlook painted a picture of cautious optimism. While there are undeniable challenges, the recent positive developments, particularly the potential Saudi investment and the government’s focus on structural reforms, offer a glimmer of hope. The panelists stressed the importance of careful planning and measured steps to ensure that Pakistan can capitalize on these opportunities and navigate the existing challenges towards a more stable and prosperous future.

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