ISLAMABAD, Dec 21 D(NA):Caretaker Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, Dr Shamshad Akhtar here on Thursday formally launched the Pakistan’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM), marking a significant stride towards fortifying external trade, attracting investments and propelling broader economic growth in the country.
“EXIM’s operationalization is a proud moment and a major milestone for us today. It will augment the banking and trade finance landscape as we know,” the finance minister remarked while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the bank.
The minister highlighted the global impact of EXIMs, citing that these institutions disbursed a staggering $2.5 trillion in trade finance last year, substantially fostering exports across over 60 countries and boosting export investments.
Detailing the diverse portfolio of products offered by EXIMs, Dr Akhtar emphasized the significance of export credit loans, which provided competitive-rate financing to exporters.
The minister said as the EXIM of Pakistan grew and matured it would shape Pakistan’s trade finance, promoting it principally through a proper institutional framework backed by effective policies and regulatory framework.
However, she said it would need to be accompanied by streamlining export policy frameworks further because together both would be able to contribute to balance of payment sustainability that in the past had been hurting of low levels of export earnings.
Dr Akhtar highlighted EXIM’s potential to enhance Pakistani exporters’ competitiveness globally through provisions like lending, credit insurance, and guarantee services. These services aim to level the playing field against competitors reliant on their national Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and EXiMS, facilitating access to broader global markets.
Notably, EXIM would introduce export insurance products in Pakistan to safeguard exporters against credit default risks, empowering them to explore international infrastructure projects.
She underscored the necessity for EXIM to navigate its operations effectively, ensuring a delicate balance between export growth, risk diversification, and industry sustainability. Additionally, Dr Akhtar emphasized EXIM’s role in reinforcing its core functions of insurance while gradually managing export finance schemes in compliance with legal constraints.
Acknowledging the collaborative effort between EXIM and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Akhtar emphasized the imperative for their partnership until the SBP could phase out of export finance operations smoothly, reinforcing EXIM’s capacity-building initiatives.
She also highlighted the importance for EXIM Pakistan to adhere to international practices while showcasing its instrumental role in disbursing trade finance globally. The launch of EXIM marks a transformative phase in Pakistan’s economic landscape, poised to unlock new horizons in trade and economic development.