The regional meetings of Bimstec member countries are useful in forging and deepening mutual cooperation, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday.
The talks are also important for effective surveillance on cross border flows of suspect funds, he said at the fifth Bimstec sub-group meeting on combating financing of terrorism, at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.
“We are well aware that combating financing of terrorism is a priority issue globally as well as for us in the Bimstec countries, and regional meetings like this are important forums for sharing ideas and learning from each other’s experiences.”
“I see this as a very aptly chosen topical theme, because internal and cross-border fund flows through wire transfer are growing very fast, enabled by increasing ease of access to internet, smartcard and mobile phone based technology,” Rahman said.
High speed and frequency of the wire transfers bring in new surveillance challenges for the regulatory authorities to address, he said.
Like elsewhere in the Bimstec region, wire transfers of funds are growing rapidly in Bangladesh, enabled by buildup of necessary IT infrastructure and countrywide connectivity backbone with proactive support of the BB, he said.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) is a sub-regional grouping of countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The countries are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
An inter-bank electronic fund transfer network facilitates diverse internet, smartcard and mobile phone-based fund transfer arrangements, with connectivity support across platforms available in a national payments switch, Rahman said.
“Bangladesh has all along been treating anti-money laundering/anti-terrorism financing concerns with due seriousness.”
Rahman also said the participating country delegations will engage earnestly in the working session discussions to benefit handsomely from sharing of experiences and ideas, raising issues from own experiences and looking for new ideas on better approaches.