A high-level delegation led by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr. Reza Baqir attended the 22nd annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) in Canberra this week. The meeting discussed Pakistan’s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) that covers the period between February and October 2018 and points out a number of areas where further actions are required to strengthen the anti-money laundering (AML) and countering financing of terrorism (CFT) framework, said a statement put out by the Pakistan Information Department (PID) here today.
The report does not cover the areas where the Government of Pakistan has made substantial progress since October 2018. During the discussions, the delegation welcomed engagement with the international community in its efforts to countering terrorism and money laundering.
The delegation briefed the APG members on the steps taken in recent times for improving its AML/CFT framework as well as the actions for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF Action Plan. The delegation also held a number of bilateral meetings with key delegations to brief them on the progress achieved by Pakistan in implementing the FATF Action Plan.
It is noteworthy that Pakistan is a member of the APG since 2000. The APG is a regional body of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation on the compliance of its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework with FATF recommendations.
During the meetings, Pakistan’s Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) also signed an MoU with the China Anti Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center (CAMLAC) on exchange of financial intelligence. the Asia-Pacific Group of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been currently underway in Australia to evaluate Pakistan’s progress for exit from the grey list. Three separate evaluations will determine Pakistan’s possible exit from the grey list of the FATF by October, sources here said.
A meeting of Asia-Pacific Group of the FATF currently being held in Canberra, Australia will conclude on August 23. The evaluation of the session could have an indirect impact over Pakistan’s position to move out of the grey list of the FATF. Pakistan being represented in the session by the central bank’s Governor Baqir Reza. Pakistan has submitted its compliance report to the Asia Pacific Group on 27-point action plan committed with the FATF.
This round of the appraisal will be followed by another round of evaluations by the APG, which will start on September 5 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Bangkok session evaluation would become a key basis of Pakistan’s final review by the FATF at its plenary and working group meetings scheduled to be held on Oct 13-18 in Paris. The Financial Action Task Force is an intergovernmental body founded in 1989 on an initiative of the G7 group of countries to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.