A consultation conference to discuss the vital role of digital financial services in achieving the aims of the upcoming National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Bangladesh was held on Thursday.
The conference was jointly organized by the Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) project and the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) program at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka.
Dr Mustafa K Mujeri, who has been appointed Team Leader of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Bangladesh (NFIS-B) presided over the consultation, offering key facts, country diagnostics, current landscape of financial services, regulations and policy context, and the strategic thrust of digital financial services relevant to helping the country achieve greater financial inclusion. This is a rolling strategy aimed at helping excluded populations gain access to financial services.
The event brought together the country’s Digital Finance Consultative Group, including representatives of the government, private sector, fintech providers, financial institutions, and INGOs. They discussed the vital role of digital financial services for all so that no one is left behind.
Guests also discussed the strategy’s recommendations for policy makers, regulators, and financial service providers.
Later, attendees participated in an open discussion session to clarify the recommendations and provide feedback through interactive exercises.
The panelists included Chief guest, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance’s Financial Institutions Division, Arijit Chowdhury, General Manager of Bangladesh Bank’s Sustainable Finance Department, Manoj Kumar Biswas, SHIFT SAARC and SHIFT ASEAN’s Programme Manager, Rajeev Kumar Gupta, Country Project Coordinator of SHIFT in Bangladesh, Md Ashraful Alam, BFP-B’s Policy Manager, Rashed Al Hasan, and DFID Bangladesh’s Private Sector Director, Afsana Islam.
The Ministry of Finance and Bangladesh Bank, with support from UK Aid, handed over the task to BFP-B, to draft the National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Bangladesh (NFIS-B).