Pacific Island nations are playing a key role in advancing the global agenda on financial inclusion, said AFI Executive Director, Alfred Hannig, as he concluded a week-long visit to the region.
Speaking after meeting leaders from the Reserve Banks of Fiji, National Reserve Bank of Tonga and Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Dr Hannig highlighted how Pacific Island countries’ readiness to share knowledge with their peers is advancing financial inclusion far beyond their national jurisdictions.
“Real progress is happening across the Pacific region, as evidenced by Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu’s enlightened National Financial Inclusion Strategies,” said Dr Hannig. “What’s especially exciting is that insight is travelling across borders, thanks to peer learning, exchange, and strategic collaboration.”
Dr Hannig highlighted the Pacific Islands’ global leadership role in advancing Inclusive Green Finance, which involves building resilience and mitigate climate impacts by expanding access to financial services to vulnerable groups.
Dr Hannig also emphasized how collaboration among Pacific island members, for example through joint data collection, or through discussing digital financial services regulatory solutions, is allowing countries to develop robust and innovative policies.
AFI’s Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI), which also includes members from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and the Seychelles, works to boost and coordinate financial inclusion efforts in the region. AFI now plans to deploy a Regional Manager to the Pacific in 2024, to further strengthen the network’s activities and impact.