Reserve Bank of Vanuatu announced as new Chair for the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative as the 3rd PIRI Leaders Roundtable ends in Kokopo
The 3rd Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) high level forum on “Digital Financial Services in the face of De-risking” was co-hosted by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) with the Bank of Papua New Guinea from May 30 –June 1, 2017 in Gazelle International Hotel, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Around 60 Regulators, Financial Inclusion Experts, Financial Services Providers and development partners participated in the forum. The PIRI high level meeting was preceded by the Experts Group Financial Inclusion Policy (EGFIP) Meeting held on 30 May 2017.
The PIRI Leaders Roundtable acknowledged the visible efforts of the EGFIP in strengthening regional cooperation in pursuing greater financial inclusion in the Pacific region. The Leaders unanimously adopted the PIRI Charter and approved the work plan developed by the EGFIP underlining the need to finalize the draft on climate change.
The two-day meeting underscored the progressive role of PIRI in advancing financial inclusion in the region through facilitative regulatory environment for women and SME empowerment supplemented by its undeterred efforts in finding solutions to challenges from de-risking and climate change. The meeting also discussed varied experiences, challenges and solutions on topics of Digital Financial Services, De-risking in the Pacific, Green Finance, National Financial Inclusion Strategies, Women Empowerment and MSME enhancement through Technology in PIRI region.
In addition, the launch of BPNG's Gender Policy was an additional outcome which focused on gender equality and social inclusion for microfinance institutions is being put together to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to financial services and products. The Bank of Papua New Guinea endorsed the Denarau Action Plan in 2016 to be more gender inclusive and it was through this plan that the development of the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Microfinance Institutions in PNG was conceived.
Leaders approved in principle the Kokopo Climate Change proposal which outlines the support of PIRI in promoting the policy area, with the adoption to be undertaken at the South Pacific Governors meeting to be held in November in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
Reserve Bank of Vanuatu took on the new Chairman role with Bank of PNG as the Co-Chair. Governor Simeon Arthy in his speech thanked the outgoing Chair, Governor Denton Rarawa of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands for his leadership and support in shaping PIRI to the high level it has reached.