The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), the largest commercial bank in Pakistan. This is the first MOU that JBIC has signed with a Pakistani financial institution.

The agreement establishes that JBIC and NBP will collaborate in promoting the exports of Japanese companies to Pakistan, whilst helping Islamic finance through knowledge sharing.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Pakistan has pursued an international co-operation agenda, under the leadership of President Musharraf. The country has maintained robust growth in recent years, with an average real GDP growth rate of 6.7%.

This has led to an urgent need to develop infrastructure, such as electric power and energy and to increase supplies of basic industrial goods. The MOU, by strengthening ties between JBIC and NBP, is expected to improve business opportunities for Japanese firms in Pakistan, such as their exports of plant for project development.

JBIC has begun to develop a network in Islamic finance and the MOU will support this, through knowledge sharing with NBP, an organisation that has strong expertise in this area.