Suva (Fiji Times) – FOR the first time in the Pacific, Fiji will be the world capital of financial inclusion in September when it will host more than 500 delegates from 180 financial institutions from 90 countries around the world.
The 2016 Alliance of Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum will be staged on Denarau Island in Nadi early in September this year.
Organised by the central bank, it has scooped a gold sponsor of $100,000 — Bank South Pacific — yesterday to stage one of the biggest forums in the country.
“AFI Global Policy Forum is a meeting held once a year and has been going since 2009,” Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside said.
“The first meeting was in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009, last year it was held in Moputo, Mozambique, then to Mexico, South Africa, Malaysia. We are proud to have that hosting right this year.
“It’ll be the first time for the Pacific Islands.
“We are quite proud to do that and we will not just do it for Fiji but for the Pacific region as a whole. We will also showcase Fiji and the Pacific financial inclusion journey.
“The numbers were staggering up higher and higher each time we looked at them. It’s not a cheap event and we are really worried whether the sponsors are coming through.”
Mr Whiteside said the sponsorship highlighted BSP’s commitment to financial inclusion in Fiji.
BSP country manager Kevin McCarthy said they supported opportunities to empower and enhance financial access for the world’s unbanked population especially for the Pacific leaders.
Mr McCarthy said the opportunity to host this forum was recognition of the very successful financial inclusion program that had been run by the central bank.