The U.S. Embassy Islamabad, in conjunction with the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), hosted a day-long seminar on financial inclusion and e-commerce. In addition to a panel discussion on financial inclusion in Pakistan, representatives from MasterCard spoke about how the company assists with establishing financial inclusion in other countries. Another panel discussed the convergence of fixed/mobile telecommunications platforms and the potential impact on e-commerce. The seminar also covered the link between regulations, digital transactions, and mobile banking, a topic that is in line with Pakistan’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy’s goal of having 100 million Pakistanis gain access to banking services.
Along with PTA experts, speakers and panelists included officials from the State Bank of Pakistan, the World Bank, Pakistani telecommunications companies and internet service providers. This was the first-ever joint U.S. Commercial Law Development Program and USAID seminar dealing with financial inclusion in Pakistan. It is part of our broader effort to promote private sector-led inclusive growth in Pakistan, and will serve as a foundation for developing similar programming in the future.