Address by Mr Loi M. Bakani, CMG Governor, Bank of Papua New Guinea to the Second Finance Ministers Process Meetings 5th to 8th June 2018
Theme: “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities and Embracing the Digital Future”
- Senior Finance and Central Bank Officials of APEC economies,
- Officials of the Madang Provincial Administration, Chamber of Commerce,
- Ministers Fraternal,
- Officials of the Treasury Department,
- Officials of the BPNG,
- invited guests,
- ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to thank the service providers, the APEC Authority, and the Madang Provincial Administration for the logistics and warm hospitality in hosting the Second Finance Ministers Process (FMP 2) meetings in Madang.
I was asked to address this evening’s cocktail to welcome our APEC delegates to the FMP 2 meetings under the Theme: “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities and Embracing the Digital Future”. This is an important theme that builds on APEC’s Growth Strategy (2010) and Connectivity Blueprint (2015) and sets the direction for the APEC region going forward in promoting trade and investment. It signifies the importance for APEC economies to strategically collaborate and work together on policies, strategies and actions that will promote growth, inclusiveness, sustainability and to embrace the opportunities available in the digital space, which is particularly relevant to Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Of the many challenges facing PNG in our first year as host, the most urgent ones are our capability to adapt to emerging and changing technological landscape and development of new infrastructure with very broad coverage and reliability. Addressing these would require institutional, human and physical capital development, which will enable our country to harness inclusive and sustainable opportunities and connect better with other economies in the APEC region
Throughout our history, Papua New Guineans lived in hamlets and close knit communities, with little or no connectivity to the outside world. Our people of over 800 languages and many different cultures thrived and survived on subsistence livelihood for thousands of years in a challenging and diverse human, cultural and natural environment. We became aware of the outside world from colonial settlement and in the lead up to independence from Australia in 1975. I am sure our APEC guests are enjoying the PNG hospitality and cultural diversity, since the Senior Officials and Finance Minister Process meetings started in February and March this year.
Financial inclusion in PNG strives to bring together and connect many who are not part of the formal economy into the financial system, by educating and providing information on access to and utilization of financial products and services offered by financial institutions. Technology has become an important enabler in the effort to reach out and connect the population to expand and promote financial inclusion in our country of diverse challenges.
Financial inclusion is an important priority of the Finance Minister Process that strives to connect everyone in an economy to harness and support inclusive and sustainable opportunities, both within and outside of the APEC region. Today marks the start of the FMP 2 meetings, with a workshop on Financial Inclusion. Tomorrow, you will continue to discuss and share your country experiences in formulating and implementing financial inclusion policies and strategies, and how technology is being used as a key enabler to broaden the outreach of the financial inclusion space in the APEC region. I am sure that the workshop will be a success, and I look forward to the presentation of its outcomes at the Finance Ministers meeting in October this year.
I wish you all a successful FMP 2 workshop and Senior Finance Officials meetings.
Thank you all and enjoy the evening.