Queen Maxima praises financial inclusion in Bangladesh

Business Desk | Published: 00:00, Jul 12,2019


Visiting Dutch Queen Maxima speaks while Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir looks on during a meeting at the central bank headquarters at Motijheel in capital Dhaka on Thursday. — New Age photo

Visiting Dutch Queen Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti on Thursday praised the expansion of financial inclusion in Bangladesh through simplification of the digital financial services, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.

She also assured Bangladesh of extending cooperation to enhance the participation of the women folk in the financial services.

She made the remarks at a meeting with the leaders and high officials of the country’s private sector, especially from the BGMEA, banks and financial institutions at a city hotel in Dhaka. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq and BRAC Bank managing director and CEO Selim RF Hossain briefed the news agency about the outcome of the meeting.

The Netherlands Queen, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), also visited Bangladesh Bank and held a meeting with the central bank governor Fazle Kabir and discussed various issues on access to finance and importance of women’s access to digital financial services, said a press release.

At the meeting, Kabir briefed her about the current status of financial inclusion and woman empowerment in Bangladesh.

He mentioned that Bangladesh Bank had been working to enable the mobile financial services platform interoperable and the formulation of the country’s first ever National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was at the final stage.

Maxima emphasised the importance of introducing a national identity system including e-KYC and linking it to the digital payment platforms.

She expressed her interest about Bangladesh’s future strategies on gender gap reduction, achieving the goal of universal financial access reaping the benefit of innovation in financial sector through Fintech.

About meeting with Maxima, Rubana said they discussed on how to bring cent percent RMG workers into digital transaction system through establishing such an eco-system in the RMG sector.

The Dutch Queen mentioned that if necessary initiative could be taken to exchange technical expertise with those international institutions which were working well with digital financial services worldwide.

Maxima assured to extend cooperation in this regard side by side informed that she would discuss with the development partners on how to strengthen financial inclusion in Bangladesh.

Selim quoting the Queen said that Bangladesh witnessed marked improvement in financial inclusion over the last couple of years although gender discrimination was there to some extent in case of getting financial services.

The meeting was informed that the women are lagging behind the males in terms of getting banking and financial services and all concerned stakeholders need to work together to make the financial transaction system more digitized to reduce this discrimination.

Mentioning that some 45 lakh workers are now working in the country’s RMG sector, the Dutch Queen said apart from disbursing their salaries through online, such kind of system should have to be developed so that the workers could do online shopping and also could make other online transactions.

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