Myanmar to host ASEAN financial inclusion conference on 29-30 Oct in Yangon

(From right to left) Shobhna Decloitre, UNDP communication specialist, Paul Luchtenburg, UNCDF programme specialist and Isvary Sivalingam, UNCDF programme design consultant seen at media briefing on ASEAN financial inclusion conference to be at Sedona Hotel in Yangon on 29-30 October.—Photo: Ye Myint

Myanmar as the chair of the 18th ASEAN Finance Minister’s Meeting 2014, will host the ASEAN financial inclusion conference titled “Enhancing Access to Finance for Unbanked People in the ASEAN Region” at Sedona Hotel on 29-30 October.
The information was released at a media briefing hosted by officials of UN Capital Development Fund at UNDP Myanmar Office in Yangon on Friday.
The UNCDF officials told the local media that the conference is expected to see key stakeholders in the region including ASEAN finance ministers, policymakers, academics, practitioners and officials from UNDP, UNCDF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank join. They said that exchange of views, thoughts, experiences and best practices will take place during the two-day regional dialogue for ensuring financial access for the low-income people in the region.
The conference will focus on challenges of CLMV countries— Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam—in striving for having access to finance, officials continued.
According to the media briefing, two key papers will be presented during the conference. The first paper will be about how financial inclusion can help government policies and measures to ensure sustainable, equitable economic growth in ASEAN, reducing inequality and creating sustainability.
The second one that will be presented during the plenary session is about women’s economic empowerment in the role of finance. Moreover, there will be papers presented, numbering 13, by specialists during the four breakout sessions.
There will be three key outputs from the conference. The first one will be the presentation of draft outlines for Myanmar roadmap for financial inclusion conducted by UNDP and UNCDF for more than a year in the country and seeking the feedback of other ASEAN countries on it. The second one will be presentations and discussions to have
further understanding of ASEAN region and on what are the key issues and challenges in terms of financial inclusion. The third and final outcome of the conference will be to report Yangon outcomes for financial inclusion to the ASEAN Finance deputies working group.
Regarding The GNLM’s question on whether there will be discussions on the development of small and medium enterprises in the region, Myanmar in particular, at the conference, Isvary Sivalingam, Bangkok-based UNCDF programme design consultant, replied that paper regarding challenges for SME financing will be presented at the breakout session I while there will also be presentation of a paper about educating entrepreneurs that means financial education for SMEs at breakout session IV which is talking about managing risk.
While answering The GNLM’s question on benefit to Myanmar,which is making great strides for its people to escape poverty,what they will be able to obtain from this financial inclusion conference, Paul Luchtenburg, UNCDF programme specialist, said that this conference focuses on financial inclusion and thegovernment wanted to bring the ASEAN members to focus on financial inclusion ensuring financial inclusion in the region and for the poorest people; and that this is the way that we can help the government to systematically reach the poorest people and bring up some of the key issues for some of other ASEAN countries, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to learn from each other.
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least development countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital.

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