Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh has appreciated the US economic partnership with Pakistan and said it would be vital for bilateral relations on long term basis.

Speaking at a think tank in Washington‚ he outlined some of the gains the country made amidst regional and global challenges.

He said Pakistan is likely to record an economic growth of around four percent in the 2012-13 financial year.

The Finance Minister lauded Washington's role in realizing European Union preferential programme for Pakistani exports.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said he looks forward to discuss state of the economy with IMF officials. He appreciated Fund's support for the country in the recent past.

He said despite inheriting a bleak fiscal situation and being confronted with a mix of regional security challenges‚ Pakistan has steadfastly followed its policies of austerity and key reforms.

Dr. Shaikh said the political government took some difficult decisions to fix the problems.