ISLAMABAD: Developing Eight (D8) countries have identified four key areas of cooperation in order to promote inclusive economic growth among member countries for the overall welfare and prosperity of their peoples.
“There are four key aspects of promoting inclusive growth, which include a sustainable growth strategy, innovative financial inclusion, Islamic financing and information exchange among the members,” State Bank of Pakistan’s Deputy Governor Kazi Abdul Muktadir said, while inaugurating an experts’ workshop here on Tuesday.
The workshop is part of the second meeting of the heads of central banks of D8 nations on ‘Financial and Monetary Cooperation for Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth’. The first meeting was held in Abuja, Nigeria last year. The meeting is being held on the sidelines of the D8 Summit 2012, aimed at improving member states’ position in the global economy, diversifying and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level and improve standards of living.
The SBP deputy governor said that the workshop is being attended by highly-qualified experts, so he expects they will provide recommendations and proposals on the basis of which an institutional mechanism could be developed for future cooperation. He said that the D8 bloc has the potential to become a major economic force, saying that close cooperation was needed between the central banks of the member countries to tap this potential.
“Cooperation and coordination among D8 central banks is necessary to invigorate economies,” he said. He was of the view that the Islamic finance system was a way forward towards inclusive growth, as member countries have the advantage of having a majority Muslim population demanding Islamic finance. He also stressed the need for information exchanges among members to help strengthen future cooperation.
The experts, during the daylong workshop, discussed economic challenges and issues faced by D8 countries collectively and by each member country, exploring domestic impediments and constraints. They also deliberated upon external vulnerabilities, including the balance of payments and dependency on capital inflows, and exposure of D8 economies to the global economy. On innovative financial inclusion, they highlighted the importance of developing policies and regulations governing specific underserved sectors, including microfinance, small and medium enterprises, housing, infrastructure, rural and agricultural finance to enhance financial inclusion.
Specific recommendation for promoting Islamic finance were also formulated with a special focus on increasing the use of Shariah-compliant products, instruments for public sector development and infrastructure projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2012.
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