The Turkish G20 Presidency announced its priorities for financial inclusion and remittances in 2015 as well as key events for the upcoming year, in the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) Turkish 2015 Priorities Paper released in January.
Under the Turkish Presidency, several GPFI events are planned. In addition to a GPFI meeting on 3 June and the GPFI Forum and Plenary 10-11 September, two GPFI workshops will be organized. The first, on 1-2 June in Izmir, will be on finance and innovation for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The workshop will highlight new financing tools, such as crowd investing and asset-based financing, and will also focus on youth and women entrepreneurship. The second workshop will be an outreach event for low-income developing countries (LIDCs) on the SME Finance Compact. It will be held on 9 September in Antalya preceding the final meeting of the G20 Development Working Group.
In 2015, Turkey’s focus for the GPFI is on implementing the Financial Inclusion Action Plan approved by G20 leaders at the Brisbane Summit in 2014. The Turkish Presidency announced in its priorities paper that it would kick off implementation of the plan with a particular emphasis on:
- Financial inclusion and youth
- Access to finance by SMEs
- The private sector’s role in financial inclusion
- Women’s economic empowerment
- Access to non-G20 countries (especially LIDCs)
- Coordination and outreach
Calling youth “big assets in which to invest,” Turkey said it aims to remove barriers for youth in accessing finance as well as promote financial literacy. Areas of concentration for the GPFI will include collecting data and developing impact indicators for youth, supporting innovative solutions for youth financial inclusion, enhancing access to finance for youth, and promoting youth entrepreneurship.
“In the wake of the global economic and financial crisis, expanding the opportunities of entrepreneurship to young people, in particular, becomes even more critical to sustainable growth and social development,” the paper reads.
The Turkish Presidency also said it will focus on better integration of SMEs into the global economy. “With regard to financial intermediation, utmost importance will be put to non-traditional sources of lending,” the paper reads. “Asset-based financing could be an area well worth exploration.” Since SME finance is a crosscutting issue between different G20 work streams, the GPFI and the Investment and Infrastructure Working Group (IIWG) will develop a joint action plan on issues of common interest.
Another priority area for the Presidency is strong private sector engagement in knowledge sharing and promotion of good practice in closing the finance gap. The GPFI will develop a Private Sector Engagement Strategy for financial inclusion to be submitted to the G20 leaders in Antalya.
In 2015, determining best practices to increase women entrepreneurship, financial education for women entrepreneurs, and encouraging policies to create new tools for women’s access to finance will be important items on the GPFI agenda as well.
Enhancing the integration of developing and LIDCs into the world economy will be another focus for the Turkish Presidency.
Remittances have an important role in reducing poverty and contributing to financial inclusion. At the 2014 G20 Brisbane Summit, G20 leaders recommitted to reduce the global average cost of transferring remittances to five percent and to enhance financial inclusion as a priority. The G20 Plan to Facilitate Remittance Flows agreed to by leaders outlines policy options and a commitment by the G20 to develop country-led action plans on remittances. The GPFI will continue to work on the issue of remittances to implement the Remittances Plan.
Photo Credits: Bekir Özden (top right); Bulent Surbek, 2014 CGAP Photo Contest (bottom left)