Islamabad, Feb. 26 (NNI): UAE-based cross-border payment system BUNA, is set to expand to include currencies from Pakistan, India, China, India and several African and European countries by 2024-2025. 

“We continue to offer innovative services and also launched a number of services such as instant payment. We are working to implement a number of initiatives to link the Buna platform and other payment methods from other countries including China, India and Pakistan in addition to continental payment systems in Europe and Africa,” Fahad Al Turki, chairman of the Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization (Buna), said on the first day of the World Governments Summit in Dubai, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Monday.

The Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, believes that Buna’s cross-border payment solution will encourage investment among Arab countries and encourage the use of Arab currencies in transactions.

He added that this platform has a high level of compliance to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism and monitor such activities.

The system is already connected to 108 live banks across 14 countries, with an additional 105-plus banks set to onboard the platform.

Currently, six currencies, including four from the Arab region, namely UAE dirham, Saudi riyal, Egyptian pound, and Jordanian dinar, as well as the US dollar and European single currency euro, are part of the platform, processing real-time funds transfer cost-effectively.

“The inclusion of rupee in the payment system will improve the efficiency of cross-border currency transactions in Pakistani banks and help deepen Pakistan’s international economic, trade and investment cooperation.” Ren Haiping, Deputy Head of Department of. Strategic Research, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) told CEN.

“The vital significance of financial infrastructure in curbing systemic financial risks and improving financial market stability is self-evident, thus Buna could help improve Pakistan’s financial market infrastructure and promote local development of cross-border currency business.

In addition, this will help attract more foreign companies to make full use of Buna to deepen cooperation with Pakistan to promote the improvement of Pakistan’s economic situation.”

Last year, Pakistan used RMB to pay for crude oil from Russia for the first time, which could be described as a profound impact on Pakistan’s economic development and the global economic pattern.

RMB settlement has not only simplified the transaction process, but also reduced transaction costs.

“Currently, the dominance of the U.S. dollar in international trade and finance is being questioned increasingly, and many countries have begun to seek diversified currency settlement and reserve methods to reduce dependence on a single currency.

Against this background, Pakistan’s decision has certain significance demonstration effect. Joining Buna this time means another successful exploration of Pakistan in the financial field and indispensable step towards de-dollarization,” Ren mentioned.

“In a deeper sense, last year, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch noted at a press conference that Pakistan has officially applied to join the BRICS, which is an important organization for developing countries.

There is no doubt that Buna will promote the BRICS financial cooperation, providing financing and payment solutions to support the collaborative economic construction of BRICS countries.” NNI


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