Financial Inclusion Mandate in the ASEAN Region
In the framework of enhancing ASEAN cooperation to support the pillar of Equitable Economic Development of the ASEAN Economic Community, the promotion of financial inclusion in the ASEAN region was mandated in the Chair’s statement of the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, 2011. During this Summit, ASEAN Ministers were tasked to explore new and innovative initiatives with the potential to boost access to finance and the financial security of its people in the ASEAN Region, and enhance economic activities. To this end, it was agreed to convene an ASEAN forum to exchange information and develop best practices among ASEAN Member States on financial inclusion. Furthermore, the importance of promoting financial inclusion was reaffirmed at the 17th ASEAN Finance Minister’s Meeting last year in Brunei.
Myanmar's Initiative on Financial Inclusion
A vision of doubling financial inclusion in the ASEAN region by 2020 has emerged. Against this background, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar organized the ASEAN Financial Inclusion Conference: Enhancing Access to Finance for Unbanked People in the ASEAN region. The conference offered a space to develop a collective agenda to accelerate financial inclusion in the region. Emphasis was placed primarily on improving access to and usage of financial services in less developed ASEAN member states- Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar and Vietnam.