ISLAMABAD: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as she began her three-day visit as part of global efforts to promote financial inclusion on Tuesday.
The queen is visiting Pakistan in the capacity of UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development.
During the meeting at PM House in Islamabad, the prime minister said Pakistan valued its relations with the Netherlands, both bilaterally and within the context of the European Union.
He appreciated Queen Maxima’s devotion to promote Financial Inclusion for Development, saying her visit would provide an added stimulus to stakeholders to achieve the goal with full zeal and spirit.
PM Nawaz said government was prioritising financial inclusion as a national objective through the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and Pakistan was committed to ensure successful implementation of the strategy.
In this respect, a Youth Loan Scheme was yielding significant dividends in encouraging sustainable inclusive growth by investing in the country’s human capital and empowering women, he said.
Queen Maxima said greater access of women to smartphones across the country would help a great deal in empowering women in the country.
She will also hold discussions with representatives of international organisations, financial organisations, telecom companies and micro-finance institutions to explore their role in improving access to financial services such as savings, payments, credit and insurance.
Launched in May 2015, the NFIS aims to expand the availability of financial tools the poor need to protect themselves against hardship and improve their lives.