Financial Inclusion

The Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Forum (APFIF) was established in 2010 as part of a policy initiative of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP) housed in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). One of many programs run over the APEC calendar year, its focus is to deliver the objectives of the FMP related to financial inclusion in alignment with the specific priorities of the APEC Host Economy each year. The forum achieves this by facilitating the identification and development of concrete actions that policy makers and regulators can take to extend the reach and value of financial services to everyone, including those at the base of the economy who are most in need.

A key feature of the APFIF initiative is its focus on promoting financial inclusion at the base of the economy and the positive effect this can have on the poor, including increased resilience and opportunity. While the definitions and objectives of financial inclusion often differ between stakeholders, the APFIF initiative focuses on what financial inclusion means for the unserved and most vulnerable segments of the population, including women, youth, the elderly and the disabled.

Since its establishment, the APFIF initiative has contributed to policy reform and capacity building across APEC economies and a range of financial inclusion themes such as financial literacy, remittances, supply chain financing, consumer protection, credit information systems and digital financial services. More recently, the APFIF initiative has shifted its focus on the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of financial inclusion in rebuilding livelihoods for the region’s most vulnerable populations and accelerating broader economic recovery.

The APFIF initiative is led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with support provided by the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).

The recommendations developed through the APFIF program of work are summarized in reports published each year: