Karachi, November 3, 2023 – The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and Pakistan have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhancing cross-border remittances.
The signing ceremony took place in Abu Dhabi, bringing together key figures from both parties to seal this significant deal.
Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund, and Jameel Ahmad, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, signed the MoU, marking a critical step towards facilitating cross-border remittances between the Arab region and Pakistan.
The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation between two key payment systems: Buna, operated by the Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization (ARPCSO) under the AMF’s ownership, and Raast, Pakistan’s Instant Payment System. The integration of these systems aims to streamline and expedite cross-border remittances through formal channels, benefiting individuals and businesses by providing a secure, efficient, and cost-effective solution for cross-border payments.
Dr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy, Chairman of the Board of AMF and ARPCSO, emphasized the strategic importance of this collaboration, stating, “This strategic collaboration with Raast underscores 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 further added, “We also aim to increase cross-border remittances by reducing costs and processing times, confirming the global character of Buna, which adheres to the highest compliance standards to connect the Arab region with its main global partners.”
Jameel Ahmad, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, echoed the sentiments of collaboration, stating, “This MoU is a significant strategic achievement that opens the door to closer connection between Pakistan and the Arab region. This collaboration between SBP and AMF is in line with our vision to leverage cross-border integrations to complement the objective of building an innovative Digital Financial Services ecosystem.”
Highlighting the potential impact of the integration of Raast and Buna, Ahmad continued, “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. With over 5 million Pakistanis residing in the Arab region and around 55 percent of Pakistan’s total remittances received from Arab countries, SBP is committed to completing the necessary work and operationalizing the connectivity between Raast and Buna in the shortest possible time.”
This partnership holds great promise for facilitating seamless cross-border remittances, contributing to stronger economic, financial, and investment ties between the Arab countries and Pakistan. As both parties work towards making cross-border transactions more accessible, secure, and cost-effective, this collaboration is set to positively impact the lives of individuals and businesses engaged in cross-border remittances.