World / Asia-Pacific

ASEAN financial inclusion conference underway in Myanmar

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-30 11:03

YANGON - An ASEAN financial inclusion conference is underway in Myanmar's capital of Nay Pyi Taw to share experiences and initiatives to ensure financial inclusion for low-income people in the region, particularly in the CLMV countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, official sources said Thursday.

The conference, the outcome of the 18th ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting-2014, is aimed at seeking ways and means for extending financial services to the people with no access to banking services through exchange of views, thoughts, experience and best practices, Myanmar Finance Minister U Win Shein told the conference.

Through outcome produced at the conference, Myanmar will be able to benefit unbanked people in the country, he added.

He highlighted the importance of financial inclusion, which is closely related with poverty reduction in which most of 70 percent of the world's poor living in rural areas are excluded from financial systems.

He pointed out that 59 percent of the world's 2.5 billion adults with no access to formal financial system are from East and Southeast Asia and some 200 million small and medium enterprises in emerging markets also lack access to finance.

During the two-day conference which began on Wednesday, two key papers focusing on the critical role of financial inclusion in sustaining equitable economic development in ASEAN and women's economic empowerment in the role of finance are presented.

Other specialists also submitted 13 other papers for discussions.

The conference brings together key stakeholders in the region, including policy makers, academics, practitioners and officials from UN agencies and regional and global financial institutions.

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