Karachi (Muhammad Yasir)
AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy in collaboration with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Development (ICCD) hosted the 2nd AlBaraka Regional Conference, in partnership with AlBaraka Bank Pakistan, to shed light on the crucial role of home remittances in Pakistan and their impact on sustainable development. The conference served as a platform to discuss the multifaceted aspects of home remittances and their far-reaching implications in shaping the economic growth tracks of nations in general, and Pakistan in particular.
The event brought together leading experts, decision-makers, and stakeholders to engage in dialogue about strengthening Islamic finance tools to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and align remittance strategies with sustainable development objectives in a globally changing remittance landscape. Event was divided into three sessions, first session was about the Islamic Financial Institutions and their role in Economic Integration in Pakistan. Second session focused on the challenges and opportunities in harnessing home remittances for economic growth and the last session was the discussion on the policy frameworks and future outlook for home remittances.
The discussion started with keynote addresses delivered by Dr. Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr Mufti Irshad Ahmad Aijaz, Chairman Shariah Advisory Committee of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Ishrat Husain, Former Advisor to Prime Minister and Ex-Governor SBP, and Mr Zulfiqar Ali Khokar, Head of the Pakistan Remittance Initiative at SBP, sharing industry insights and future outlook for the country. Chief Executive Officer of AlBaraka Bank Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Atif Hanif was also in attendance as was honored as a prestige partner of AlBaraka Forum.
“As one of the 57 member states of the OIC, Pakistan plays a crucial role in promoting economic integration through home remittances. Islamic financial institutions facilitate these remittances, encouraging recipients to invest sustainably in local businesses and welfare programs. Collaboration between governments and financial institutions is essential to establish secure, user-friendly, and legal channels for remittances and foster linkages with international financial institutions,” stated Mr. Yousef Khalawi, Secretary-General of the AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy.
H.E. Mr. Yousef khalwi announced the launch of AlBaraka Forum economic report titled “Evolution of Home Remittance in OIC Countries (2017-2022): A Global Perspective.
According to the Saleh Kamel Islamic Economy Database, Pakistan received around US$150 billion in home remittance from 2017 to 2022. This ranks Pakistan fifth among the top remittance receiving countries in 2022 with US$29.9 billion. Global remittances reached US$758 billion in 2022, with OIC countries receiving 25.5% of this amount, over US$193 billion. Home remittances are crucial for Pakistan as they constituted 33% of total imports, making it the second highest among OIC countries and fifth globally in 2022.
The conference conclusively put forth policy frameworks and future outlooks for home remittances, including suggestions to streamline remittance flows so they contribute to sustainable economic growth. The stakeholders also delved into future trends and outlook for home remittances in Pakistan and emphasized the need to collectively work on innovative strategies to further enhance the positive impact on the national economy.