The Asia-Pacific Group on money laundering (APG) is reviewing Pakistan’s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) which details measures taken by the government to counter terror-financing and money laundering from February 2018 to October 2018, a press release issued by the finance ministry said on Wednesday. Pakistan has submitted compliance report on its 27-point action plan to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine the country’s possible exit from the grey list of the anti-money laundering watchdog by October. The Asia-Pacific Group – the regional affiliate of the FATF – is currently conducting in Canberra (Australia) five-year mutual evaluation of Pakistan’s progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors. This round is not directly linked to Pakistan’s performance on its commitments with the FATF on money laundering and terror-financing, but its assessment report can indirectly impact the country’s position to move out of the grey list.The assessments, represented from Pakistan by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Baqir Reza, will conclude on August 23. The meeting adopted Pakistan’s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER). The MER covers the period February to October 2018 and identifies a number of areas where further actions are required to strengthen the AML/CFT framework. The report does not cover the areas in which government of Pakistan has made substantial progress since October 2018.In the discussions, the Pakistani delegation welcomed engagement with the international community in its efforts to countering terrorism and money laundering. The delegation briefed APG members on the steps taken in recent times for improving its AML/CFT framework as well as the actions for ensuring effective implementation of the FATF action plan. The Pakistani delegation also held a number of bilateral meetings with key delegations to brief them on recent progress by Pakistan in implementing the FATF action plan.During the meetings, Pakistan’s Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) also signed an MoU with the Chinese Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center (CAMLAC) on exchange of financial intelligence.Pakistan is a member of the APG since 2000. APG is a regional body of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation on the compliance of its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework with FATF recommendations.Pakistan has submitted its compliance report on 27-point action plan committed with the FATF to the APG, which is reviewing its compliance on about seven areas, mostly relating to financial and insurance services and facilities as part of an ongoing five-year review cycle. These areas cover safeguards against money laundering and terror financing by banned outfits and non-government entities through banking and non-banking jurisdictions, capital markets, corporate and non-corporate sectors like chartered accountancy, financial advisory services, cost and management accountancy firm, jewelers and similar related services.The five-year review by the APG, which has been under way for nearly two years, will conclude on August 23. As part of the process, the countries were given future targets in view of changing technologies, practices and latest techniques and scopes. This will be followed by another round of mutual evaluations by the APG starting September 5 in Bangkok (Thailand) that will become a key basis of Pakistan’s final review by the FATF at its plenary and working group meetings scheduled for October 13-18 in Paris.The Paris plenary will also take up a separate assessment by the US Treasury Department regarding Pakistan’s compliance with global commitments against money laundering and terror financing. The FATF last year placed Pakistan on the grey list of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.