Traders win swift bank access as EU removes Pakistan from sanctions list
After exiting the FATF grey list, Pakistan has achieved another major milestone as European Union (EU) removed Pakistan from the list of High-Risk Third Countries.
This means Pakistani traders will now enjoy swift bank access to the EU and trade transactions will process more quickly.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lauded the EU decision on Wednesday saying it will promote business and trade in Pakistan.
Under the EU’s directive, 2015/849 banks and other gatekeepers are “required to apply enhanced vigilance in business relationships and transactions involving high-risk third countries.”
“The types of enhanced vigilance requirements are basically extra checks and control measures which are defined in article 18a of the Directive,” according to the European Commission.
Federal Minister for Trade Syed Naveed Qamar announced the development stating that “Pakistani businesses and individuals would no longer be subjected to ‘Enhanced Customer Due Diligence’ by European legal and economic operators”.
He further said that the EU had included Pakistan in the list of high-risk countries back in 2018. “This ban had put an unnecessary burden on our economy.”
The EU also confirmed the development on Wednesday. “An important positive step for Pakistan. In line with last year’s FATF decision, the EU has decided to remove Pakistan from its list of countries with high risk regarding money laundering & financing of terrorism,” it said.
Meanwhile, a Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) official talking to Business Recorder said that the office of the Economic Minister, Embassy of Pakistan, Brussels, Belgium have confirmed that European Commission has removed Pakistan from the List of High Risk Third Countries having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime.
“It’s very good news for Pakistani exporters to the European Union.”
It is worth mentioning here that UK removed Pakistan from the list of High Risk Third Countries back in November 2022.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced the development on Twitter.
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