Financial inclusion key to global economic recovery, says IMF's Kristalina Georgieva at inaugural INCLUSION Fintech Conference
Sep 24, 2020
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delivered keynote speech via video at the inaugural INCLUSION Fintech Conference
Shanghai, China, 24 September 2020 – Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delivered a keynote speech today at the inaugural INCLUSION Fintech Conference in Shanghai, during which she highlighted 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.
She noted in her speech that as the world continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, one thing is clear: there remains considerable uncertainty around the outlook for various emerging markets and developing economies. This further underscores the need to strengthen financial inclusion to advance a fairer, faster, and smarter global recovery.
Research by IMF shows that digital financial services were already the primary driver of financial inclusion even before the onset of COVID-19. Enhancing access to financial services can help to reduce income inequality, especially among traditionally marginalized groups, and boost economic growth.
“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.”
On the global economic outlook, Ms. Georgieva observed that various countries around the world have begun to see early signs of recovery, with China and many advanced economies performing better than expected in the second quarter of this year.
Ms. Georgieva concluded her speech by stressing that technology can enable a new era of shared prosperity if we act now, including by investing in access to digital infrastructure, financial and digital literacy, and addressing biases in data that exclude the most vulnerable people and groups. Digital technology is key to strengthening financial inclusion and facilitating a smarter transformation of economies across the globe.
Organized by Ant Group and Alipay, the INCLUSION Fintech Conference aims to foster a global dialogue on how digital technology can help build a more inclusive, green, and sustainable world.
The inaugural three-day conference in Shanghai, which is held from September 24 to 26, 2020, features over 40 online and offline sessions. Various speakers and thought leaders from around the world are joining via video conference to share ideas on major themes such as the global digital economy, innovative technology, digital finance, and technology for social good (“tech for good”).