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September 25, 2020

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IMF chief wants global promotion of fintech

INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has called for the promotion of fintech on a global scale to accelerate financial inclusion for a better and more resilient post-pandemic world.

In her video address to the opening ceremony of the first INCLUSION Fintech Conference, which kicked off yesterday in Shanghai, the IMF chief said the second-quarter economic performance in China, and in many advanced economies, was better than anticipated. However, Georgieva said, the outlook for emerging markets and developing economies, other than China, remains “precarious.” She emphasized the importance of financial inclusion to advance a fairer, faster and smarter economic recovery.

“Seizing opportunities to improve financial access was already a priority for countries worldwide before the pandemic. But it is even more urgent now because groups that already lack access are being hit particularly hard by COVID-19,” she noted.

Under such circumstances, the IMF chief said financial inclusion and fintech can help people connect to opportunities and prevent them from slipping into poverty. Georgieva also pointed out that digital financial services enable governments to quickly expand social safety nets, help unemployed people with payments, stimulate consumption, and speed up their economic recovery.

This statement mirrors the experience in China. According to data released in June by MYbank, an online private commercial bank under Chinese fintech firm Ant Group, in the past five years, technological development has greatly increased the availability of small loans totaling less than 1 million yuan (US$147,000) to small and medium-sized enterprises in China.


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