(Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund said that it will continue to discuss terms for a fresh loan with Pakistan, indicating further steps will be needed to clinch more aid.

“The mission and the authorities will continue policy discussions virtually over the coming days aiming to finalize discussions, including the financial support needed to underpin the authorities’ reform efforts,” Nathan Porter, the IMF’s mission chief to Pakistan said in a statement, after concluding their visit. The IMF staff has been holding talks in Pakistan since May 13.

The South Asian nation needs fresh support from the Washington-based lender to shore up foreign reserves and give policymakers space to boost a sputtering economy that is grappling with very high levels of inflation. 

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has said Pakistan is seeking a bigger and longer agreement with the IMF. The multilateral lender is pushing for economic reforms to help the South Asian nation break out of a cycle of bailouts that has seen it go to the IMF two dozen times. 

Read: Pakistan, IMF Initial Talks for New Loan Conclude on May 24 

Authorities made significant progress toward reaching a staff level agreement on a comprehensive economic policy and reform program that can be supported under an Extended Fund Facility, the lender said. 

Key objectives in the negotiations for the fund include broadening the tax base, improving debt sustainability, restoring viability to the energy sector, and improving state-owned companies, the lender said. 

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