The importance of achieving financial inclusion has gained greater attention recently due to the economic impact of the pandemic and the vital role access to financial services has played in supporting resilience and recovery, especially among the region’s poorest and most vulnerable people. In response, many governments have prioritized the development of the digital economy to enhance innovation and inclusion within the finance sector. Against this backdrop, the ADB, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank Institute, ABAC and the Foundation for Development Cooperation, organized the 2021 APFIF Policy Dialogue as a virtual event on 25 May 2021.
This meeting, which has been held annually since 2010, brought together senior government officials from 18 economies as well as nearly 30 policy and industry experts. Under the theme “Emerging Priorities in the COVID-19 Era” the roundtable-style dialogue focused on (a) facilitating recovery and resilience through financial inclusion; and (b) emerging financial inclusion challenges and opportunities in a world disrupted by COVID-19.
As a result of this dialogue, a series of proposed actions have been developed for the consideration of APEC policymakers and regulators. Some of the key issues addressed within these proposed actions include support for microfinance providers to adopt digital technology, establishing inclusive digital ecosystems, facilitating innovation to accelerate economic recovery, reassessing financial inclusion strategies in line with digital transformation frameworks, promoting stakeholder cooperation to progress digital inclusion at the base of the economy and mobilizing capital for critical infrastructure investments through innovative fintech mechanisms. Read more here.
A detailed report based on the discussions held at the 2021 APFIF Policy Dialogue and proposed actions for policymakers and regulators is expected to be published by the ADB by October 2021..