The Bank of Papua New Guinea and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) in partnership with the Foundation for Development Cooperation
(FDC) Australia, Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and the Microfinance Pasifika Network (MFPN), hosted the 6th Financial
Inclusion Innovation Summit at the Stanley Hotel, Port Moresby.
About 200 participants from the region took part in the three day Summit that involved presentations and discussions on the achievements, visions and priorities of stakeholders to assist in the growth of Financial Inclusion throughout the Pacific Region.
Previously, known as the Pacific Microfinance Week, the summit is the region’s most comprehensive platform for the Pacific Financial sector. The summit explores innovations, share knowledge, network and engage in technical exchanges to continue and further the effective, efficient and sustainable delivery of financial services in the region.
Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, gave the key note address to officially open the summit. She raised key points on the: evolving regional initiatives for Financial Inclusion, Women’s economic empowerment, development finance, sustainable development goals, financial inclusion in the Pacific and the future of financial inclusion in the Pacific.
She went on to urge participants to consider extending regional financial inclusion programmes and give coverage to other parts of the region and beyond the Pacific. She stated that participants must explore how Pacific Island countries can improve digital financial inclusion and encourage investments in reliable and consistent data on financial inclusion:
“Your discussions are to focus on issues that are at the very heart of sustainable development and poverty reduction. These are not trivial matters, but are issues upon which the lives of many depend,”
Also speaking at the summit Governor Loi Bakani added that PNG perceives financial inclusion in a much broader sense than just providing access:
“We feel creating an enabling environment, making financial services responsive to the needs of the clients and encourage use of the financial service through new innovations to improve the standard of living is the way forward for financial inclusion in PNG.”
He added that BPNG and CEFI will look for new innovations for financial inclusion and have commenced a research project to find ways of using Blockchain in this area.
The summit will pave way for more new discussions and ideas to assist in the work of financial inclusion in the region. Participants will not only have panel discussions and presentations but will also have the chance attend workshops and field visits as part of the program.