Thursday, 10 May 2018

Pakistan, as the Chair of Colombo Process Thematic Area Working Group (TAWG) on Remittances, was invited as a guest speaker to the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) 2018, which was convened from 8 – 10 May 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The forum was hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Bank Group.

With recognition of their active role as the Chair of Colombo Process TAWG on Remittances and the country’s proactive initiatives towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.c., reducing the transaction costs of migrant remittances, Pakistan was invited to speak at the plenary session “Remittances as a lever for the SDGs: how to multiply their effects through enabling policies” on Day 3 of the event as the Public Sector Day.

Mr. Muhammad Ismail Iqbal, Deputy Secretary of the  Ministry of Overseas Pakistani & Human Resource Development, the Government of Pakistan, participated as a panelist in the session, and shared Pakistan’s role as the Chair of TAWG on Remittances  in the Colombo Process platform while  also elaborating on the country’s successful initiative, Pakistan Remittance Initiative, which has enabled the country to reduce the transaction costs of remittances significantly. Mr. Iqbal emphasized that Remittances contribute to multiple SDGs beyond 10.c., such as Goal 1 “End poverty”, Goal 4 “Quality education”, Goal 5 “Gender equality”, and Goal 8 “Economic Growth” to name a few by citing examples of good practices and initiatives shared in the TAWG Remittances meetings. Being asked about the governments’ role in leveraging Remittances for achieving SDGs, Mr. Iqbal responded that the governments’ role is devising effective policies to facilitate the channeling of Remittances in the right direction so as to maximize the benefits of Remittances for migrants, families, communities and national economies. 

Remittances is one of the current five thematic priorities of the Colombo Process, and specific recommendations related to Remittances are strongly featured in the Colombo Process Joint Recommendations to the Global Compact for Migration.