Sep 24, 2020
Shanghai, 24 September 2020 – Ant Group, an innovative technology provider, today officially launched its inaugural INCLUSION Fintech Conference, welcoming prominent speakers from all corners of the world, including representatives from the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, as well as Nobel Prize-winning scholars, to participate in a wide-ranging conversation on how digital technology can help build a more inclusive, green, and sustainable world.
Taking place both online and onsite in Shanghai from September 24-26, 2020, the conference brings together thought leaders from across the globe to envision the digital economy of the future. The first day of the conference began with a morning plenary session, followed by 17 forums in the afternoon and a nature-themed music festival along Shanghai’s iconic Huangpu River in the evening.
An offline 13,000sqm exhibition area showcased the latest fintech innovations and technology solutions from Ant Group and Alipay, as well as a variety of other major companies from the technology and financial communities, including Kenyan telecommunications provider Safaricom, Swiss-Thai fintech company Ascend Money, and US financial services company Mastercard.
Key highlights from the first day of the INCLUSION Fintech Conference include:
- Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), provided a comprehensive overview of the global economic outlook, highlighting the pivotal role financial inclusion can play in building a better and more resilient world, especially as economies and businesses continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “Fintech is already playing an important part in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” emphasized Ms. Georgieva. “It has made contactless and cashless transactions very popular and very useful. Digital financial services also enable governments to quickly expand social safety nets and help facilitate direct payments between people, in turn accelerating economic recovery.”
- During the plenary session, Eric Jing, Executive Chairman of Ant Group, envisioned a new financial ecosystem that is powered by technological innovation. He stressed that digital technology accelerates the evolution of financial services and makes it more accessible to those in need, bringing equal development opportunities for all.
- Simon Hu, CEO of Ant Group, emphasized that technology is at the heart of Ant Group’s DNA. “Since our inception over 16 years ago, digital technology has been part and parcel of everything we do, continuously driving the evolution of our strategy, operations, and value proposition.”
- United Nations Development Progamme Administrator Achim Steiner said: "COVID is accelerating digitization and the dividend could be huge, from helping to deliver our climate goals to improving health and education access. Whether we can actually benefit from the digital transformation, however, depends on how digitalization reshapes finance. The time has come for the financial system to fulfill people’s needs, the ultimate owners of the world’s financial assets – digitalization can fuel that change."
- Nobel Economics Laureates Michael Spence and Bengt Holmström also shared their views and insights on the current state of global finance and the integration of technology and financial services in a conversation with Long Chen, director of the Luohan Academy, an open-research initiative by Alibaba Group.
Forums in the afternoon focused on an array of different topics, including open banking, insurance and technology, and new methods of global remittance, amongst many others.
A full playback of the plenary session will be available on the INCLUSION Fintech Conference’s YouTube channel as well as on the conference’s official website.
About the INCLUSION Fintech Conference
The INCLUSION Fintech Conference was officially announced in January 2020 to bring together the global financial and technology communities, to envision a world that is more inclusive, green, and sustainable through digital technology. The inaugural three-day conference in Shanghai, to be held on September 24-26, 2020, will feature over 40 forums, with keynotes and panels covering major themes such as the global digital economy, digital finance, innovative technology, and sustainability.