13 September 2023

9th Pacific Island Regional Initiative (PIRI) Meetings – Opening Remarks by Governor Ariff Ali, Reserve Bank of Fiji

  • Governor Luke Forau, Central Bank of the Solomon Islands
  • Acting Governor Elizabeth Genia, Bank of Papua New Guinea
  • Deputy Governor Noel Vari, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
  • Deputy Governor Mele Ungatea Latu, National Reserve Bank of Tonga
  • Assistant Governor George Awap, Bank of Papua New Guinea
  • Second Deputy Governor Jenifer Sullivan, Central Bank of Seychelles
  • Eliki Boletawa, Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion
  • Esteemed Delegates, Partners and Stakeholders
  • Ladies, Gentlemen, and dear Colleagues

Good afternoon and Bula!!!

I bring you warm and pleasant greetings from Fiji and the Pacific Islands. Welcome to 9th Pacific Islands Regional Initiatives (PIRI) Leaders Roundtable hosted in the bustling and vibrant city of Manila, Philippines. As we gather in this remarkable city, let us take a moment to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and the graciousness of our Filipino hosts who have welcomed us with open arms.

I want to extend a heartfelt welcome to Acting Governor Elizabeth Genia from the Bank of Papua New Guinea, who joins our PIRI meeting for the very first time. Your presence here, madam, signifies the strengthening of our regional bonds and the commitment to forge deeper connections. We look forward to your insights and contributions in shaping the collective action going forward.

First and foremost, I would like to encourage all leaders present to champion our mutual cause, starting with taking forward the de-risking action plan. This initiative which aims to bolster economic stability across the Pacific region by nurturing stable global and regional banking relationships and making financial services accessible to all Pacific islanders. Together, let us transform these aspirations into tangible realities that will benefit our communities and economies alike.

In our journey towards progress, let us not forget the transformative potential of technology and innovation. We must continue to harness these forces responsibly, ensuring they serve not just one party but the entire region. The success of the Pacific regional regulatory sandbox portal stands as a shining example of what we can achieve when we embrace innovation for the collective good. It is our duty to expand upon this foundation and explore new horizons of technological advancement.

Data, as we know, is a powerful tool. Let us leverage the insights from the AFI member needs assessment (MNA) to form and design our next steps and actions. These insights should guide our decision-making, helping us prioritize and strategize effectively. With data as our compass, we can navigate the complex challenges, and prioritise with clarity and purpose.

In our journey towards prosperity, we must not forget the invaluable role played by AFI as a network of peers, PIRI as a platform for the region, our technical team represented in EGFIP, donors, partners, and stakeholders. They are the pillars upon which our collective future stands, and their unwavering support propels us toward a future that leaves no one behind. Let us take a moment to express our heartfelt appreciation for their commitment and contributions.

In closing, let us remember that our presence here underscores the significance of collaboration in achieving our shared goals. The theme for this year’s Global Policy Forum, “Stability, Sustainability, Inclusion, and Shared Prosperity,” resonates deeply with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Together, we can harness our collective strength, resources, and expertise to drive meaningful change and create lasting impact.

May this meeting be a beacon of hope, a catalyst for progress, and a testament to what can be achieved, when we work together with purpose and determination.

May our discussions be fruitful and transformative. Bula vinaka! Thank you!

© Alliance for Financial Inclusion 2009-2023