Karachi: The caretaker government of Pakistan has made a big step forward by starting the EXIM Bank (Import and Export Development Finance Institution). This move is to meet a requirement set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and aims to help grow Pakistan’s exports and find local alternatives to imports.
With EXIM Bank now active, the State Bank of Pakistan, which is like the central bank, will no longer offer special loans to people and companies that sell goods to other countries. However, the State Bank will still have a big role in overseeing and regulating financial activities.
Ehsan Malik, the CEO of the Pakistan Business Council, explained. He said they had been waiting for this bank to start for a long time. However, he pointed out that it might still take a while for the bank to fully get going and serve the public.
Malik mentioned that the main office of the bank is in Islamabad, the capital city. But, he noted, this is far from the main cities that do a lot of exporting, like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Sialkot.
He also expressed some worries. Even though the government plans to give a lot of money to the bank, this money might not be available right away. It could take some time before the bank begins its full operations.
EXIM Bank will work internationally to support Pakistani exporters. It will offer them financial help and insurance against risks. This support is especially important for reaching markets that are seen as riskier, like some countries in Africa and Central Asia.
It’s important to note that more than half of Pakistan’s exports, around 55%, go to three big markets: the United States, Britain, and Europe.