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Media »Myanmar’s Financial Sector Representatives Assemble to Address National Financial Inclusion Advancements and Strategy

August 20, 2018

Financial sector stakeholders representing Myanmar government, private sector, and development partners convened today in Yangon to discuss the findings of a nationwide financial sector diagnostic, Making Access Possible (MAP).


MAP operates through a partnership between the DaNa Facility (funded by DFID), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Myanmar, and the MOPF’s Financial Regulatory Department (FRD).  Based on a comprehensive survey of 5,500 rural and urban households, the 2018 diagnostic found a significant increase in financial inclusion growth from the MAP 2013 findings.


Adult access to one formal regulated financial service increased from 30% in 2013 to 48% today.  Moreover, sole reliance on informal financial services fell by 30% from 10 million to 7 million adults over the past five years.  Consequently, the nation’s formal financial sector has broadened due to increased private bank depositors, as well on strong growth in the microfinance and cooperative sectors.


The workshop participants deliberated on a proposed multi-focused strategy for the 2018 to 2022 national Financial Inclusion Roadmap aiming at empowering poor to low-income individuals by improving their access to appropriate and affordable financial services.


Opening the Workshop, Director General U Zaw Naing of the Financial Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, highlighted the need for inclusive, impactful, and equitable financial services throughout the nation: “While financial sector growth is encouraging, it is of little value unless it makes a meaningful and lasting difference at the personal level nationwide”


Central Bank of Myanmar Director General, Daw Than Than Swe challenged the financial community to “redouble its efforts to expand and deepen financial services to overcome the entrenched traditional informal financial practices that conspire to limit our nation’s economic potential”.


Daw Yu Yu Naing, Private Sector Development Advisor at DFID Myanmar, stressed the financial inclusion’s importance for inclusive growth, “If we want to bring new economic opportunities and prosperity to communities and groups across this country, then increasing access to appropriate, competitive and well-regulated financial products and services is a critical objective.”


Paul Luchtenburg, Country Coordinator for UNCDF in Myanmar noted, “the improvements in financial inclusion result from the governments leadership complemented by the work of development partners and other stakeholders. Attaining future results will require continued systematic and strategic implementation by all stakeholders under government leadership.


The workshop is organised and led by the Myanmar Government’s Financial Regulatory Department and supported by UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund) and the UK Government’s DaNa Facility.  The Central Bank of Myanmar played a key role in the Forum, while the private sector was represented by the Myanmar Bankers Association, the Myanmar Micro-Finance Association, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, mobile network operators, digital payment providers, and other contributors to financial inclusion within the marketplace.


About UNCDF.


UNCDF has been in Myanmar since 2012 implementing a variety of projects which improve financial inclusion particularly for those not served or marginally served such as women and people living in rural areas. Globally, UNCDF makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.


For more information see: www.uncdf.org/en/myanmar


About the DaNa Facility
The DaNa Facility is a UK Department for International Development (DFID)-funded 4.5-year programme, established in May 2016 as one of three components of DFID’s wider ‘Business for Shared Prosperity’ (BSP) programme. The DaNa Facility, implemented by DAI Europe and KPMG, supports inclusive economic growth and private sector development in Myanmar through responsible and sustainable business growth, investment and trade. See www.danafacility.com


For more information or photos of the event contact: Thu Thu San danapress@danafacility.com