Al-Mashat Attends WEF 2021 Sustainability Impact Summit to Discuss Accelerating Development Through Financial Inclusion

the Minister of International Cooperation HE Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat

Addressing the importance of public-private partnerships to improve financial inclusion, the Minister of International Cooperation, HE Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, took part in the World Economic Forum (WEF) session on “Driving the ‘global financial inclusion’ on September 21.

The session was moderated by Eric Parrado, Chief Economist and Director General of the Research Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and in the presence of AMTD Group Managing Director, Calvin Choi; and Faheen Allibhoy, Managing Director of JP Morgan’s Development Finance Institution as panelists, alongside Al-Mashat.

Hosted alongside the United Nations General Assembly, this session is part of the WEF Sustainability Impact Summit (SDIS) held from September 20-23, 2021, and aims to enhance post-disaster reconstruction. pandemic. Overall, the Summit addresses 7 main themes: 1) How to save the planet; 2) fairer economies; 3) Technology for good; 4) Society and the future of work; 5) Better business; 6) a healthy future; and 7) Beyond geopolitics.

Al-Mashat said that through financial inclusion, public-private partnerships and a strong digital infrastructure, countries will be able to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, adding that thanks to what above, economic activity will be better stimulated, leading to improved livelihoods.

“We are nine and a half years away from the global 2030 goals, which all countries, development partners and stakeholders are turning to. When we talk about financial inclusion, it relates to several of the SDGs … To accelerate progress towards the goals and ensure financial inclusion, we need to come together through partnerships, ”Al-Mashat said.

Through public-private partnerships in particular, it is possible to close the financial inclusion gap through the use of innovative technologies, alongside companies adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. Panelists agreed that while digital transformation is crucial, there is also a growing need to encourage a financial regulatory framework that promotes data and consumer protection, establishing secure and trusted platforms to facilitate financial inclusion.

Choi explained that in the past 2 years due to the health crisis, the world has experienced an unprecedented acceleration in digitization. “Making things virtual and transparent is for the good of society … This digital transformation is not for a single need or a single approach. Instead, it’s something the whole world needs to connect in a combined approach to development, ”he said.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has opened a new perspective on the growing need for digital financial services, especially in an age of remote communications and social distancing. This essentially magnified the urgency of establishing the necessary digital infrastructure, ”Al-Mashat said.

The Minister added that in order to better rebuild towards an inclusive and resilient economy, investment in information and communication technologies (ICT) and innovative financial technologies would allow progress to be made more quickly. Al-Mashat also said that “international cooperation plays a crucial role, especially in the form of triangular cooperation, in order to share know-how and best practices through new technologies.”

Sharing the importance of trust, Allibhoy said the pandemic has also improved contactless payment, leading to global changes in business creation, “all of this made us realize the importance of supply chains and how every aspect of life is connected to the economy, ”she added.

As digitization has reshaped the transition to sustainability, new emerging technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning are currently at the forefront. In Egypt, this is exemplified by the new administrative capital, which will become the country’s first smart city, which will include a city-wide digital security system as well as smart infrastructure to reduce consumption and costs by putting emphasis on the use of renewable energies. IoT.

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Norma A. Roth