Karachi November 3 2023: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) on Friday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate cross-border remittances between the Arab region and Pakistan through formal channels.
The MoU was signed by Director General Chairman of the Board of AMF Dr Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy and SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad in a ceremony hosted by the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi, an SBP press release here said.
The AMF and the SBP, under the MoU, would establish a framework of cooperation between Buna, the cross-border payment system operated by the AMF owned Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization (ARPCSO) and Pakistan’s Instant Payment System Raast.
“The initiative will benefit individuals as well as businesses not only through instant, safe and cost-effective cross border payments, but also by strengthening economic, financial, and investment ties between the Arab countries and Pakistan,” the press release said.
Dr. Abdulrahman Hamidy, commenting on the MoU, said that the strategic collaboration with Raast underscored Buna’s commitment to continue connecting different regions together and reinforcing economic, financial, and investment ties between the Arab region and its main global partners.
“This resonates with the shared vision of innovating cross-border payment solutions to offer safe and efficient cross-border instant payments access for individuals and corporates”, he added.
Vowing to increase cross-border remittances by reducing costs and processing times Dr Hamidy said that the initiative confirmed the global character of Buna which adhered to the highest compliance standards to connect the Arab region with its main global partners in line with the vision of its founders.
The SBP governor, speaking at the occasion, termed the MoU a significant strategic achievement that opened the door to closer connection between Pakistan and the Arab region.
He said that the SBP-AMF collaboration was in line with their vision to leverage cross border integration for complementing the objective of building an innovative digital financial services ecosystem.
“The integration of the two payment systems will increase remittances to Pakistan through formal channels, with enhanced speed, safety, and savings in these cross-border transactions,” he added.
With over 5 million Pakistanis residing in the Arab region and around 55 percent of Pakistan’s total remittances received from Arab countries, the SBP was committed to complete the necessary work and operationalize the connectivity between Raast and Buna in the shortest possible time, he assured.