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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Discussing financial inclusion of underserved groups and its potential for unlocking economic opportunities and enabling inclusive and robust development was at the center of the first G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion Plenary Meeting (GPFI) here last week.
The meeting was preceded by the 020 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion seminar.
Despite significant progress over the past decade to advance the topic of financial inclusion, challenges persist. The G20 GPFI is examining how technological advancements can help bridge the gap in the number of young people and women with no access to banking services.
According to The Global Findex Database 2017, there are about 1.7 billion unbanked adults worldwide. Those excluded from financial services are disproportionately young people and women.
In addition, the SME financing gap is estimated to be $4.5 trillion. The G20 GPFI seminar was a one-day event that brought together speakers and attendees from G20 members and non-c20 countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, multilateral development banks, standard setting bodies, as well as regional and international regulators, and private sector stakeholders.
In his opening remarks, the Saudi co-chair of the 020 GPFI, Haitham Al-Ghulaiga said: “The focus in 2020 will be to harness digital and innovative technologies to advance financial inclusion of youth, women and SMEs to unleash their full potential and contribution to economic growth in both advanced and emerging markets."
Following the seminar, the Saudi G20 presidency presented its priorities and work program for the GPFI meeting, which focused on three areas: advancing digital financial inclusion of youth, empowering women through digital financial inclusion, and promoting digital and innovative SME financing.
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