Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age
Welcome to the Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit, brought to you by the Citi Foundation and the Foundation for Development Cooperation, in partnership with the Banking with the Poor Network.
We are delighted to have the State Bank of Vietnam as our Official Host, recognising both Viet Nam’s progress in financial inclusion and its chairmanship this year of APEC and its initiatives to drive more inclusive growth across the region.
Financial inclusion has progressed remarkably throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Advances in technology, new products and services, creative public–private partnerships, innovative business models as well as deeper insights into client needs are all driving rapid transformation across Asia’s financial inclusion ecosystem. The link between financial inclusion and equitable growth has also been recognized and major global platforms, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, embraced the goal of broader access to financial services.
Yet, in spite of recent innovation and change, more than 1 billion people within the Asia-Pacific region still have no access to formal financial services. A lack of access and usage as well as the need for favourable regulatory frameworks continue to constrain the growth of thousands of micro, small and medium-sized businesses, impede women’s access to economic opportunity, and disadvantage vulnerable communities. Continued progress will rely on an ecosystem of financial-services providers, government, regulators, technology and communications services, and trusted intermediaries that can adapt and respond to changing client preferences and market needs. Together, all these players will need to find creative solutions to tackle big challenges and harness opportunities to close gaps and better enable financial inclusion in a digital age throughout the Asia Pacific.
What influences the varying levels and growth of financial inclusion across the Asia-Pacific region? How are stakeholders across the financial ecosystem responding to and harnessing digital disruption to stimulate growth and protect clients? How will financial inclusion empower the poor and disadvantaged to participate in the transformation occurring throughout the regional economy? Where can we see breakthroughs that give women access to finance, control over their economic circumstances and the ability to fully participate in the regional economy? How will financial inclusion continue to evolve? How should we define financial inclusion today and where is financial inclusion headed?
These and many other issues will be addressed by senior leaders at the Summit, which will be a catalyst for debate, exchanging ideas and new collaborations to promote positive change and inclusive economic growth.
We hope you enjoy this gathering, and use both the content of the Summit and the many networking opportunities to launch new projects and establish partnerships.