ASEAN financial inclusion conference recommends regional commitment



The two-day ASEAN Financial Inclusion Conference produced a set of recommendations on realization of objectives to accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia, said a statement of the conference available here Friday.

The "Yangon Outcomes for Financial Inclusion," released at the end of the conference, said ASEAN Finance and Central Bank Deputies Working Group will be tasked to realize the success of the objectives of the Yangon Outcomes, including engagement with other working groups and the establishment of a Financial Inclusion Advisory Group to support their activities.

The deputy working group will present the Yangon Outcomes to the ASEAN Finance Deputies Meeting to be held soon and implementation of the outcomes will take place following the decision of ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting in Malaysia next year, the statement said.

International organizations such as UNDP, UNCDF and Australian Aid, which attended the event, also pledged continued support for the implementation of the financial inclusion programs in the region.

ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a regional bloc of ten countries in the region - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Financial inclusion, or inclusive financing, means everyone, especially those of the disadvantaged and low-income groups, has access to a range of quality financial services at affordable prices with convenience, respect and dignity.

According to Myanmar Minister of Finance U Win Shein, financial inclusion remains lower than 30 percent in Myanmar and around 20 percent in Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia.

The ASEAN financial inclusion conference was held to share regional countries' experiences and initiatives to ensure financial inclusion for low-income people in the region, particularly in the CLMV countries -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Enditem