Dutch queen arrives in Pakistan for three-day visit

Updated November 25, 2019

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The Dutch queen was received by senior officials of the foreign ministry and representatives of the Embassy of Netherlands at Nur Khan Air Base on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
The Dutch queen was received by senior officials of the foreign ministry and representatives of the Embassy of Netherlands at Nur Khan Air Base on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi receives Queen Maxima at the FO. — Photo: FO
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi receives Queen Maxima at the FO. — Photo: FO

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands arrived in Pakistan on Monday for a three-day visit in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary General's Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development.

The Dutch queen was received by senior officials of the foreign ministry and representatives of the Embassy of Netherlands at Nur Khan Air Base.

Upon arrival in Islamabad, Queen Maxima chaired a meeting on financial inclusion, Radio Pakistan reported.

She said that while Pakistan has made advancements towards financial inclusion, more needs to be done.

In the meeting attended by representatives of UN agencies, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, Queen Maxima emphasised the need to use technology to improve financial inclusion, the report added.

She also called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the progress of financial inclusion in Pakistan.

According to a Foreign Office statement, Qureshi while appreciating the Dutch queen's dedication to promote financial inclusion said that her visit would provide "added impetus to ongoing initiatives in the country". He also highlighted the steps taken by the country to promote financial inclusion.

Maxima "appreciated Pakistan’s efforts including the prioritisation of access to financial services for women and [for] promoting inclusive fintech", the FO said.

Last week, the Foreign Office (FO) had announced the Dutch queen's visit.

In a press release, the FO said that the Dutch queen will call on President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during her visit, in addition to her engagements with stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Queen Maxima Zorre­guieta Cerruti will also attend the launch of the 'Micro Payment Gateway', which the FO described as "an initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan aimed at reducing the costs of small payments and boosting digital transactions to benefit people and promote financial inclusion".

The statement had added that inclusive finance for development is one of the "key priorities" of the government and the country has taken a number of steps in recent years to promote financial inclusion.

Queen Maxima had visited Pakistan in February 2016 as well.