ABU DHABI, 3rd November, 2023 (WAM) — The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to establish a framework for cooperation between the “Buna”, the cross-border payment system operated by Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organisation “ARPCSO”, owned by AMF, and “Raast,” Pakistan’s instant payment system.
The integration of Raast with Buna aims to facilitate Cross-border Remittances between the Arab region and Pakistan through formal channels. This 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.
Dr. Abdulrahman Abdullah Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of AMF and Chairman of the Board of ARPCSO, said, “This strategic collaboration with Raast underscores Buna’s commitment to continue connecting different regions 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 payment access for individuals and corporates.”
He added, “We also aim to increase cross-border remittances by reducing costs and processing times, this initiative confirms the global character of Buna which adheres to the highest compliance standards to connect the Arab region with its main global partners in line with the vision of its founders, in the Council of Central Bank Governors. On this occasion, we would like to thank the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and his colleagues for their instrumental support of this initiative.”
For his part, Jameel Ahmed, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, said, “This MoU is a significant strategic achievement that opens the door to a 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.”
He added, “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 operationalising the connectivity between Raast and Buna in the shortest possible time.”