Increasing financial inclusion in ASEAN will be crucial for achieving universal access."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Managing Director of the World Bank Sri Mulyani Indrawati said financial inclusion is important for countries in Southeast Asia or the ASEAN region, including the Republic of Indonesia.

"Increasing financial inclusion in ASEAN will be crucial for achieving universal access," Sri Mulyani noted in a statement received here on Monday.

According to Sri Mulyani, countries in the ASEAN region represent 12.3 percent of the world population and do not have access to banks where Indonesia contributes up to 5.9 percent and Vietnam up to 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, small and medium enterprises contribute between 23 to 58 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, it is estimated that less than 15 percent of businesses are expected to have adequate access to bank credits.

Sri Mulyani pointed out that the central banks and governments of ASEAN have set ambitious targets for it.

"It is important that the private sector is provided with more innovative financial services," Sri Mulyani said.

National authorities should encourage the private sector to invest more in financial services through their commitment to create a more favorable and policy-regulated environment.

The World Bank group has agreed to help, among other countries, ASEAN in measuring the level of financial development as well as overseeing compliance with the international standard rules for the financial sectors supervision.

Besides updating financial infrastructure development, capacity building and empowerment for the regulation application of the financial sector are also done for maximizing the access to low-cost banking and safe financial services.

"For example, we support authorities in Indonesia and Vietnam to bring low-income people into the financial system through the digitization of social transfers," Sri Mulyani added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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