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Asia Microfinance Forum 2010 to Focus on Financial Inclusion
Source: ibtimes.com
Source Date: Saturday, August 21, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Created: Aug 23, 2010

The Asia Microfinance Forum 2010 convened by the Banking With the Poor Network (BWTP) and organised by the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 12-15 of October 2010. Citi Foundation is Lead Sponsor and Hatton National Bank, the Local Host for this event. Microfinance Focus will be the official media partner of the conference.

Entitled ‘Financial Inclusion-Achieving Asia’s Potential, the forum will bring together leading microfinance practitioners, policymakers, financiers, academics and advocates as partners in achieving greater financial inclusion in Asia.

The first day of the conference will gain robustness around the forum’s theme of ‘Understanding Financial Inclusion’ and the role of microfinance in achieving it. Concurrent sessions will be conducted to discuss the role of field officers and a robust human resource policy, credit risk management and social performance management.

Day two will commence with a plenary session on Policy Making and will be followed by parallel sittings on issues of financial literacy of clients, savings & inclusion and investment landscape in Asia. Field visit, workshops and an Investment Market Place will also be organized on the second day.

Moderated panel discussion on “Investment Landscape in Asia” will focus on the current investment climate in Asia, including a discussion of challenges and opportunities for both investors and MFIs. The market place will have over 15 International Investors focusing in Asia and a diversified pool of approximately 30 high-potential MFIs from Asia. The Market Place will be moderated to ensure that Investors have the chance to meet one to one with a diversified and investible pool of MFIs from Asia for matching their investment preferences.

On the concluding day of the conference, a series of sessions will be delivered on a variety of issues like consumer protection, alternative delivery channels and financial inclusion in the Mekong. A session will be dedicated for a discussion on ‘Return on Equity’ which is fast emerging as the new industry benchmark and Youth Entrepreneurship for diversifying income generation will be a focus of a concurrent panel discussion.

A Sri Lanka Special session will also be conducted to draw attention to the state of the industry in the country and the way forward. The conference will conclude with a plenary session which will bring to the table the core priorities that need to be set for achieving financial inclusion.

Symbiotics will also be conducting a parallel workshop on ‘Investment Relationship Management’ and Microfinance Sector will facilitate Social Performance Management workshop on the second day of the conference.

The Banking with the Poor Network (BWTP Network) is Asia’s microfinance network that works towards building efficient, large-scale sustainable organisations, through co-operation, training and capacity building with the aim of achieving innovative, appropriate and demand-driven financial services for the poor. The Network is an association of a diverse range of microfinance stakeholders committed to improving the quality of life of the poor through promoting and facilitating their access to sustainable financial services.
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