(MENAFN) The European Union (EU) has removed Pakistan from its list of High-Risk Third Countries. The decision comes after Pakistan got off the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list last year, which is a list of countries under increased monitoring for deficiencies in their systems to curb money laundering and terror financing. In a statement, Pakistan's Ministry of Commerce welcomed the development, saying that it would add to the comfort level of the European economic operators.
The ministry also noted that Pakistan's placement on the EU's high-risk third countries list had created an undue regulatory burden on obligated entities in the EU, leading to instances where some of them had refused to entertain legal and financial transactions with individuals and entities based in Pakistan. The ministry hoped that the new development would ease the cost and time of legal and financial transactions by Pakistani entities and individuals in the EU.
EU Pakistan tweeted that the move was an important positive step for Pakistan and was in line with the FATF's decision last year. The EU had placed Pakistan on its high-risk third countries list in October 2018, following the FATF's listing of Islamabad on its grey list in June 2018. The EU's list was aimed at preventing money laundering and terror financing. The removal of Pakistan from the list indicates that the EU now considers Pakistan to have improved its systems to combat these issues.
Pakistan's removal from the EU's high-risk third countries list is a significant development for the country's economy. The placement on the list had led to increased scrutiny of Pakistan's financial transactions and had negatively impacted its reputation in the international business community. The removal of Pakistan from the list will likely boost investor confidence and increase economic opportunities for Pakistani entities and individuals in the EU. It remains to be seen how this development will impact Pakistan's efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing moving forward.
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