Central bank money laundering framework a serious problem for Pakistan’s exporters

A business leader in one of Pakistan’s most export oriented cities, Sialkot, has complained to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) about the negative impacts of its recently launched Framework for Managing Risks of Trade Based Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Sialkot is notable for its clustering of world-class sports goods companies, one of which supplied the footballs for the FIFA 2014 World Cup, while the city’s export focused surgical instrument manufacturing industry comprises hundreds of small- and medium-sized enterprises, supported by thousands of subcontractors and suppliers.

Drastic policies

President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muhammad Asharaf Malik, has urged the SBP, Pakistan’s central bank, to adopt “drastic” policies to facilitate and boost Pakistan’s export sector.

In a video link communication with SBP governor, Reza Baqir, Malik said that while the chamber “strongly encourages” reforms such as the bank’s framework for curbing trade-based financial crime, certain requirements in it are disrupting export trade and causing “serious problems” for exporters and importers.

Framework unrealistic

Malik also told Baqir that the framework does not reflect all of the realities of exporters’ business operations. Advance payments are not being processed and several forms required for exported goods are not being issued due to misinterpretation of the clauses, sometimes by officials and sometimes by exporters he said.

Malik also told the governor that exports of top international brands from the city were facing additional delays because of several commercial banks’ decision to move trade finance operations from Sialkot to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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