China has announced 2016 GPFI priorities and key dates in the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) China 2016 Priorities Paper released in January.
In 2016, China will host the GPFI Meeting on March 3 in Shanghai, the GPFI Forum on July 13-14 in Chengdu and GPFI Plenary on July 15 in Chengdu. China will also hold two workshops, one in Shanghai on March 1-2 with the theme of “New Development and Indicators Update” and one in May with the theme of “Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy.” The third GPFI Standard-Setting Bodies (SSBs) Conference will be hosted by the Financial Stability Institute at the Bank for International Settlements on October 26-27.
In 2016, under China’s Presidency, the GPFI will continue to work on former Presidencies’ agenda items and support the implementation of the G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan with particular focuses on:
1. Digital financial inclusion: Innovation, supervision and regulation
2. Data and indicators
3. Reaching the 'last mile:' Rural areas, the poor, the youth and the elderly
4. Financial consumer protection and financial literacy
5. SME finance: Diversified financing channels
Digital Financial Inclusion: Innovation, Supervision and Regulation
Digital finance has successfully improved access to finance by under-served groups. The promise of digital finance to reach scale, reduce costs and, if coupled with the appropriate financial capability, to improve usage, is unprecedented. In 2016, the GPFI will explore and study the models, good practices, regulatory framework, financial consumer protection, financial literacy and SME finance on digital financial inclusion across different countries, as a cross-cutting issue of all Subgroups, which will form the foundation of a set of high-level principles for action on digital financial inclusion.
Data and Indicators
Data is one of the core areas of the 2014 Financial Inclusion Action Plan. Appropriate indicators and comparable data are very important for evaluation and policy making. In 2016, the GPFI will plan to expand and complement the G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators with the addition of new indicators on digital finance and other aspects. The GPFI will also make efforts to a framework for ongoing collection of new data across and within countries.
Reaching the Last Mile: Rural Areas, the Poor, the Youth and the Elderly
Poverty and income inequality remain a stubborn challenge for many low- and middle-income developing countries. Reaching the "last mile" by targeting the poor could contribute to poverty reduction and broader economic growth. In 2016, the GPFI will facilitate dialogue and distill lessons on effective approaches to reaching the “last mile." The GPFI will also continue to encourage the active participation of interested low-income developing countries (LIDCs) to the GPFI meetings and related events, and promote financial inclusion in LIDCs.
Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy
Adequate financial consumer protection contributes to financial inclusion by reducing information asymmetries, increasing consumer confidence, and ensuring financial services to be delivered efficiently, transparently and responsibly to consumers. Effective financial literacy can help consumers better understand financial products and make suitable choices. In 2016, the GPFI will continue to promote good practices for financial consumer protection and financial literacy with respect to conventional as well as innovative financial services, with a particular focus on rural, young and elder population.The balance between conduct supervision prudential supervision will also be an important item in the agenda.
SME Finance: Diversified Financing Channels
SMEs have always played an important role in boosting the global economy. The GPFI has recognized the importance of diversified financing channel for SMEs, and will focus on how to make longer-term finance available to SMEs by using capital market instruments, including credit enhancements, SME bonds and securitizations, while also paying due attention to the regulatory and supervisory issues.
(Photo: Speech by Dr. Sun Tianqi, GPFI Chinese Co-Chair, at G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting)