Description

The Asian Development Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance Luxembourg and the University of Luxembourg will conduct the Asia Pacific Futures Dialogue on 12 to 13 June 2024 in Luxembourg. This event aims to understand the developments and challenges in the financial landscape in developing Asia and the Pacific region and explore differentiated approaches for achieving a sustainable financial sector, including through roles of potential donors with innovative financial solutions and mechanisms. Kindly refer to the attached concept note and agenda.

The economic environment in Asia and the Pacific has been changing rapidly, bringing new challenges and opportunities for developing countries in the region. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched Strategy 2030 to serve its vision of achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable region. As such, finance sector operations need guidance as the organization streamlines its goals with Strategy 2030 and addresses challenges from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rapid technological changes, and climate change.

Despite past efforts and achievements, the development of the finance sector in Asia and the Pacific still lags substantially behind that of developed economies. Account ownership in banks or regulated financial institutions remains low in several countries in the region. For example, in 2021, the account ownership rate was 21% in Pakistan, 33% in Cambodia, 44% in Uzbekistan, compared to 76% for the global average and 84% for upper middle-income economies1. Besides, DMCs in the region face multiple and divergent finance sector development challenges. Even as they cope with maintaining financial stability in the post-COVID-19 period, they need to develop their finance sectors; enhance financial inclusion and access, especially for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women; and create an enabling environment for digitalization of finance while safeguarding consumer protection and delivering digital and financial literacy. They must also develop their capital markets and build the institutional investor base to raise funds to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), build quality infrastructure, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and address disaster and pandemic risks. However, there are also opportunities to achieve financial development. The rapid adoption of digital technology in finance offers big potential to enhance financial inclusion and environmental sustainability. This will open opportunities for European and other countries to invest in their technology and services. Increasing demand for infrastructure finance and disaster risk finance provides opportunities to develop capital and insurance markets and build up the institutional investor base.

Strategy 2030 Finance Sector Directional Guide, approved in November 2022, explains how ADB can support developing member countries through innovative financing solutions, knowledge management, and technical assistance for a sustainable financial sector in Asia and the Pacific. From 2020-2022, ADB’s commitments to the finance sector amounted to $7 billion, accounting for 11% of ADB’s total operations.2 To help meet the growing demand of developing member countries for knowledge and capacity building support, the Financial Sector Development Partnership Special Fund was established in 2013 to provide technical assistance and investment grant support for finance sector development. The fund has allocated $27.1 million for 90 technical assistance projects.

The launch of ADB’s New Operating Model (NOM) in June 2023 further highlights the roles of the finance sector in accelerating climate financing, mainstreaming the transition to a net-zero economy, strengthening disaster resilience, supporting gender-inclusive financing through SMEs, and strengthening private sector’s role in the finance sector to mobilize private investments in the region. Dedicated teams within the Finance Sector have been created to support the climate change shift and private sector development shift. In particular, the Finance Sector will develop the policy, regulatory, and institutional frameworks for private sector participation in climate finance, strengthen private and public sector financial institutions’ commitment to climate actions, and address market failures.

Target participants

Financial sector supervisors, regulators, financial institutions, academia, financial sector experts, and government officials

Resources

Materials and recordings will be uploaded and shared publicly after the event.

How to join

Register now to join the event.

Register to join online.

Venue

  • 12 June: Weicker Building, Luxembourg Kirchberg
  • 13 June: Big Bang Room, Luxembourg House of Financial Technology  

Event organizers / partners

  • ADB Sectors Group 
  • ADB European Representative Office
  • Ministry of Finance
  • University of Luxembourg

Event Contact