September 7, 2018
H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, headed PMA’s delegate to the 2018 Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum in the city of Sochi in Russia. The Forum was organized by the Central Bank of Russia and AFI between September 5 and 7, 2018. Large number of countries and international organizations participated in the Forum.
H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa delivered key speech today Friday in the public and private sectors plenary discussion. The discussion addressed making fiscal policies and ensuring the objectives of sustainable development through financial inclusion. Governors of central banks around the world participated in the plenary discussion. H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa addressed in his remarks the strategy of financial inclusion in Palestine as one of the tools of economic development and ensuring social wellbeing and improving living standards. Mr. Shawwa said that the National Strategy of Financial Inclusion Document had been drafted in line with the Government’s Economic Development Plan for the coming years. The Document is also consistent with PMA’s future aspirations to contribute to boosting economic growth, according to Mr. Shawwa.
The Governor of PMA also addressed in his remarks ways of enhancing and developing important economic sectors relevant to Sustainable Development Goals including boosting financial infrastructure, enhancing levels of financial awareness and culture in the society, empowering SMEs and microenterprises, empowering renewable energy sector, green loans, and financial empowerment of women. Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals requires collective efforts in all sectors, including the public sector, private sector, and the civic society organizations, since achievement of economic development requires availability of preconditions including modern and developed financial infrastructure, legal environment that meets development needs, an active and effective investment environment, and developed financial products services, added H.E. Mr. Shawwa. Once these conditions are made available, with government support that includes giving incentives, giving tax exemptions, and ensuring secure investment environment for the private sector, the economic development goals can be achieved easily, says Mr. Shawwa.
Current financial inclusion in Palestine is 36% and PMA aspires to raise this rate to at least 50% within the next eight years, according to Mr. Shawwa.
H.E. Mr. Shawwa had taken part on Wednesday morning in AFI Membership Council meeting; Palestine is key member in the Council.
PMA joined AFI in 2009. A report published by AFI in 2014 stated that the efforts of PMA and Palestine Capital Market Authority had placed Palestine in a position of a state that pioneered financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa region. PMA is member in the working groups of AFI especially the SMEs working groups, financial inclusion, payments systems, and budget committee.