On 24 and 25 June 2021, the IsDB, lead by the head of its delegation to the GPFI, Dr. Nabil Ghalleb, Director, Economic Empowerment Department participated in the 2nd G20 GPFI Meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency. A workshop on “Remittances in times of crisis and beyond” emphasized the importance of remittences in alleviating poverty and the opportunities that Fintech presents in supporting low-cost and fast transfer of funds.
Following the workshop, the GPFI plenary was divided into four sessions. GPFI members discussed the initial drafts reports that were developed on a range of topics including Remittances, Financial Inclusion, Digital Literacy and Consumer Protection. A strong emphasis of the report focused on the impact of Covid-19 as well as the lessons and opportunities that may arise from the pandemic.
During the meeting, the IsDB delegation reviewed the four initial drafts of the GPFI reports as well as presentation of updates on other reports that are being drafted. The meeting discussed technical topics including digital financial literacy and competency, the effects of COVID-19 on digital finance and Financial Inclusion as well as remittances.
The meeting discussed the realities faced by migrants sending remittances and their families back home receiving them during the COVID-19 pandemic in both in remittance-sending and -receiving countries. It also discussed financial resilience and its relationship with financial inclusion, financial literacy and financial well-being.
IsDB provided feedback that while financial policy implications are important, the report should also include policy implications on non-financial services that banks/fintech providers can provide based on the examples that were described in the report (eg. e-commerce market access, helping MSMEs to be digital ready in terms of payment and marketing etc, providing business continuity advice for MSMEs etc).
Findings should also be elaborated on the long-term implications of relief measures including which policies to be phased out and the implications/justifications for doing so. These findings may be helpful for member countries to consider and learn from. IsDB will continue to actively support the GPFI by contributing to the deliverable reports initiated under the Italian Presidency.
It is to be recalled that in October 2020, H.E Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, officially informed H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of IsDB, of the Troika’s decision and approval, under the G20 Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, of IsDB’s selection as an Implementing Partner of the Prestigious Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).
The Partnership was established in 2010 to promote financial inclusion as a means of increasing well-being and achieving sustainable and inclusive growth at global level.