SAMN to hold regional conference in Islamabad: Banking South Asia’s Half Billion Unbanked

Islamabad: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Monday will inaugurate a two-day SAMN Regional Conference at a local hotel. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan will also be gracing the event with his presence.

The conference is hosted by the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), a member of SAMN, with support of State Bank of Pakistan, Citi Microfinance, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and UKAid’s – Department for International Development (DFID).

The conference aims at exploring the progress made by the member South Asian countries coupled with facilitating the cross-learning among them. Speakers from across South Asia will shed light on the economic potential of the region and the impact of the improved access to finance.

The challenges, innovations and opportunities in the South Asia’s financial inclusion landscape will also be highlighted. Additionally, the conference will focus on facilitating investments flow to the region.

Distinguished and eminent speakers from the world’s leading microfinance organizations and financial sector will be speaking in various intellectually stimulating discussions. On the 18th of November, the conference will start off with the keynote address by Dr. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Founder – J-PAL and Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by the discussion on the state of Financial Inclusion in South Asia.

A ‘Regulator’s Dialogue’ will also be held at the end of first day in which regional experts from the Central Banks and Microfinance Institutions from South Asia would discuss how financial inclusion can effectively spark economic growth in the region.The second day would feature discussion around ‘Attracting Investments to Microfinance in South Asia’.

The conference will be concluded with an address by Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance. During this session, key stakeholders from the region will also present policy recommendations oriented towards sustainable economic growth through access to finance

SAMN (South Asia Microfinance Network) is a regional association representing the effort to improve access to finance across six countries— Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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