A meeting on the proposed establishment of an anti-money laundering body for the Middle East and North Africa region was held earlier today. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), in coordination with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Delivering the inaugural speech, H.E. Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance and National Economy, and Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Policy Committee, stressed that the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain worked closely with international institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the international fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. “We consider that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region should have a greater say in formulating international policy against money laundering and combating terrorist financing… One method of achieving this is to establish a Middle East and North Africa – FATF Style Regional Body… If selected by the potential members of such a body to host the proposed Secretariat, Bahrain is prepared to fund the Secretariat for a period of up to five years,” said H.E. Shaikh Ibrahim. He also affirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain had, over the past three decades, established itself as the region’s pre-eminent international financial centre. “Some 350 licensed entities currently operate in and from Bahrain across the banking, securities and insurance sectors,” he said.