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ADB’s governors approve ADB’s financial statements

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2020)

The Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank approved ADB’s financial statements in its first-ever virtual Annual Meeting.

ADB on its official website wrote that its Board of Governors had approved ADB’s financial statements and the allocation of its 2019 net income in the Annual Meeting today.

The annual meeting took place through video conferencing (VTC) Friday amid the COVID19 pandemic.

In his remarks to the meeting, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said, “Our immediate priority is to provide vital support to developing member countries as they confront the COVID19 pandemic and return their economies to a path of sustainable growth,”

“Your approval today of the financial statements and allocation of net income ensure that we have the tools and financial stability to address the enormous challenges that now affect the lives and economies of millions of people across our region,” he added.

The Chair of the Board of Governors said, “Our choices and efforts today will determine whether we can overcome the current health care and economic crises.”

He added, “The ADB should turn this crisis into an opportunity while enhancing knowledge sharing on COVID-19 policy responses and expanding support for low-income countries and vulnerable groups.”

The Board of Governors adopted a resolution to allocate $1.069 billion of net income from ADB’s 2019 ordinary capital resources.

The allocable net income will be distributed as follows:

  • $615.7 million to support ADB’s capital adequacy to generate net income,
  • $259.5 million to the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s low-income member countries,
  • $130 million to the Technical Assistance Special Fund, which includes support to respond to the COVID19 pandemic,
  • $30 million to the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund,
  • $24 million to the Climate Change Fund, and
  • $10 million to the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.

ADB is actively supporting its members as they address the effects of COVID-19 through its $20 billion response package announced on 13 April.

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Imran Khan says peace in Afghanistan would boost regional trade

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan says that peace and stability in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region as it would enhance economic opportunities.

In a meeting with Nisar Ahmed Faizi Ghoryani, Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, on Thursday Khan stated: “Peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region by enhancing regional connectivity and providing new opportunities for economic cooperation.”

The Pakistani prime minister noted that Pakistan and Afghanistan have untapped economic synergy and opportunities, which he said could only be realized through cooperation in the economic and trade sphere.

Khan also reiterated Pakistan’s consistent support to peace and stability in Afghanistan and emphasized the need for a negotiated political settlement.

Meanwhile, Ghoryani thanked Pakistan for its role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and its “desire for enhanced economic and trade ties between the two countries.”

Ghoryani, who traveled to Islamabad to attend the Pakistan-Afghanistan 2020 Trade and Investment Forum, has met with the country’s high-ranking officials and discussed transit issues and expansion of trade between the two countries this week.

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No relief yet for Pakistan as FATF keeps it on global grey list

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday announced it would keep Pakistan on the grey list until at least February next year.

Speaking at a virtual press conference in Paris on Friday the anti-money laundering/terror financing watchdog’s president Marcus Pleyer said there were still conditions Pakistan needs to comply with before they can be removed from the grey list. 

“Pakistan must comply with the remaining six items, then the FATF will send its onsite team to verify progress on the ground. After completion of this process, the FATF will consider Pakistan to be excluded from the list of jurisdictions with increased risk of terror financing that is called the grey list.”

Pleyer said although Pakistan has made progress in terms of carrying out reforms and implemented measures such as imposing sanctions against those financing terrorism, more still needed to be done. 

The FATF plenary removed Iceland and Magnolia from the grey list. North Korea and Iran will remain on the blacklist.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said on Twitter: “FATF acknowledges that any blacklisting is off the table now. Pak has achieved impressive progress on its FATF action plan. 21 out of 27 action items now stand cleared. Remaining 6 rated as partially complete. Within a year, we progressed from 5/27 to 21/27 completed items.”

According to a statement issued by FATF Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to progress in a number of areas including taking action to identify and sanction illegal MVTS, implementing cross-border currency and controls, improving international cooperation in terrorist financing cases and applying sanctions where necessary, among others.

The statement noted that Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies.

One area FATF said Pakistan needs to work on is to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.

However, the FATF said it “takes note of the significant progress made on a number of action plan items. To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021.”

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Pakistan parliament to host trade and investment forum for Afghans

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

Pakistan’s National Assembly will host a Pakistan-Afghanistan trade and economic forum next week to enhance bilateral relations and find ways to overcome transit and trade challenges. 

The two-day seminar in Islamabad will include a 17-member Afghan parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) and representatives from Afghanistan’s trade and investment community. 

Pakistan’s The News reported delegates attending from Pakistan will include political leaders, academics, investors, and traders.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the opening ceremony of the conference on October 26 and a video message from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will be telecast during the event.

The seminar is being viewed as a positive sign of change and a way to overcome issues faced by traders and investors in both countries and will also open new avenues of political and parliamentary cooperation and coordination between the two countries. 

 

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