ISLAMABAD  - Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Thursday said that international banks and financial institutions were coming forward to do business in Pakistan and government also welcomed Al-Baraka Islamic Bank in this regard.

Chairman Albaraka Islamic Bank, Khalid Rashid Alzayani along with members of the Albaraka Board of Directors and management team met the Federal Minister for Finance, said a statement.

The minister briefed the delegation about the efforts of the government for growth of Islamic banking in Pakistan. He said the special steering committee on Islamic Banking, headed by Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan had been formed.

The committee had already presented its interim report putting forth proposals for development of Islamic finance. The Minister said there would be gradual progression from conventional banking to Islamic Banking in the country.

He specially mentioned launching of Sukook Bond in November last year which he said was a great success. He said that with concerted efforts and economic reforms government had brought about revival of the economy and subsequently it regained the confidence of international financial institutions.

Khalid Rashid said that all Islamic Banks desired to have their financial operations in Pakistan as they were encouraged by its tremendous economic turn around.

He added that the bank already had an exposure of USD50 million to Pakistan. He also said that Al-Baraka had purchased 20 million dollars of Sukook bonds.

He said the Bank would be eager to finance food and water sectors and could also consider financing import of agricultural products from Pakistan.