SBP 60th Anniversary – Development Finance Conference

A well-developed financial system fuels economic progress because access equals opportunity. Broader and deeper financial systems provide opportunities to invest life savings, build businesses, ensure secure and timely payments, and insure against uncertainties.

To commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the State Bank of Pakistan, a Development Finance Conference has been organized to explore ways in which we may accomplish our goal of “Expanding Frontiers of Access in Pakistan”. The conference will bring forth a range of issues that are impeding access to financial services. The sector coverage of the conference will include micro, small, agricultural enterprises and housing finance for consumers as well as alternative delivery channels. Conference will provide stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions and provide valuable feedback on a variety of initiatives undertaken by the State Bank on development finance.

The State Bank believes that inclusiveness is critical for growth to be sustainable. Hence, SBP has taken a number of initiatives ranging from banking sector reforms to establishing alternative financial institutions including microfinance banks. Additional efforts to support financial access include establishment of a full-fledged Development Finance Group (DFG) within SBP to steer implementation of policy, legal and regulatory framework for access to finance for small and micro enterprises, agriculture and rural finance, and housing finance. To guide development finance policy, a focussed Financial Inclusion Program Office has been created with a mandate to coordinate, design and implement donor-supported initiatives as well as create synergies within the DFG. More recently, SBP has created a regulatory framework for branchless banking representing a cost-effective alternative delivery channels including retail agents and mobile phones.

While these initiatives represent great strides forward, the challenges to alleviate poverty persist. However, policies that promote inclusiveness can provide people opportunities of smoothing consumption and entrepreneurship. Each individual’s prosperity contributes to the country’s progress.

In order to ensure further strengthening on its initiatives SBP will facilitate intellectual discussions on the upcoming challenges that financial system needs to confront at the conference. Policy makers, practitioners, and academics will share their perspectives in a bid to explore new market frontiers and innovations.

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