Wednesday May 04 2022

Pakistan has great strengths to overcome challenges: Reza Baqir

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Reuters/ file
State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Reuters/ file

  • Reza Baqir urges overseas Pakistanis to consider public service as his term as SBP governor expires.
  • Hopes Pakistan will make right decisions to overcome challenges.
  • Expresses gratitude for successfully completing his three-year term as central bank's governor.

Pakistan has great strengths to effectively address the multiple challenges it has been facing, Reza Baqir said on Wednesday upon the completion of his term as the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) governor.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail Tuesday announced that no extension has been granted to Reza Baqir as the SBP governor as his three-year tenure expires today.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday midnight, Baqir voiced hope that Pakistan will make the right decisions to overcome the challenges.

"We face several challenges but also have great strengths as a country to address them. I am confident and hopeful that we as a country will make the right choices to overcome the challenges ahead of us," he wrote.

He also expressed gratitude for successfully completing his three-year term as the central bank's governor and urged overseas Pakistanis to contribute in public service.

Baqir listed down multiple initiatives that he lead during his tenure as the SBP head. The initiatives are as follows:
  • Roshan Digital Account to connect overseas Pakistanis with our banks
  • Raast, Pakistan's first instant and free payment system.
  • Framework to license digital banks in Pakistan — a first that promotes inclusion and innovation.
  • Financial inclusion especially of women with Banking on Equality 
  • Promotion of affordable mortgages for low-income people. Check here
  • Institutional strengthening of SBP by hiring three top-class deputy governors

Baqir thanked his colleagues in SBP, who he termed as "pillar for our economic stability", for making these initiatives a success with their hard work. He also thanked deputy governors, SBP's corporate management team, finance ministers and secretaries who he got to work with.

Govt decides against Reza Baqir's extension as SBP governor

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail revealed that SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir’s three-year will expire May 4

“I have spoken to him and told him of the government’s decision," he wrote on Twitter, acknowledging his efforts during these three years.

“I want to thank Reza for his service to Pakistan. He is an exceptionally qualified man [and] we worked well during our brief time together. I wish him the very best,” the finance minister wrote.

Who is Reza Baqir?

Dr Baqir was appointed as the governor of the central bank by President Arif Alvi on May 4, 2019, for a period of three years from the day he assumes the office of the Governor. He assumed his responsibilities on May 5, 2019.

In addition to his regular responsibilities overseeing financial and monetary stability in the country and promoting sustainable economic growth, Dr Baqir had led several key new initiatives at the State Bank since assuming office which are mentioned above.

Prior to this appointment, Dr Baqir had eighteen years of experience with the IMF and two years of experience with the World Bank. He was the Head of the IMF's Office in Egypt and Senior Resident Representative since August 2017.

He had also held positions as IMF’s Mission Chief for Romania and Bulgaria, Division Chief of the IMF's Debt Policy Division, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing IMF’s work on debt relief and sovereign debt restructuring, head of the IMF delegation to the Paris Club for four years, and Deputy Division Chief of the Emerging Markets Division overseeing IMF’s loans and policies in emerging markets, amongst other roles.

Dr Baqir represented the State Bank of Pakistan on the Board of Directors of the Asian Clearing Union, the Board of Governors of the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank, the Council of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Financial Stability Regional Consultative Group for Asia, and the IMF’s Board of Governors.

He was appointed as Chairman of the General Assembly of the prestigious Islamic Financial Services Board for 2022.