Islamabad: The European Union (EU) On Wednesday has removed Pakistan from its list of ‘High-Risk Third Countries’ for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing purposes.
This move by the EU is a major relief for Pakistan, which was added to the list in 2018, placing the country under additional regulatory restrictions.
The EU Commission is mandated to identify high-risk third countries that have strategic deficiencies in their regime on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
The removal of Pakistan from the list means that Pakistani businesses and individuals will no longer be subjected to ‘Enhanced Customer Due Diligence’ by European legal and economic operators.
Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar welcomed the decision and said that Pakistani exporters would now face fewer obstacles.
EU has removed Pakistan from the List of High Risk Third Countries. Pakistani businesses and individuals would no longer be subjected to ‘Enhanced Customer Due Diligence’ by European legal and economic operators.
— Syed Naveed Qamar (@naveedqamarmna) March 28, 2023
The news was also confirmed by Senator Sherry Rehman in a tweet, who credited Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto with the achievement.
Last year, Pakistan was taken off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) global money laundering watchlist, followed by the United Kingdom’s decision to follow suit in November.
These developments come as a much-needed breather when Pakistan faces the worst economic crisis in decades.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal had previously stressed the need for Pakistan to take measures to bring the country’s economy out of crisis through sustainable export-led economic growth.
However, the economy continues to remain under pressure, as talks for the ninth review between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the loan programme are yet to conclude.