World Bank Invests in Myanmar’s Financial Inclusion, $100M in Credit
缅甸计划与经济发展部副部长U Maung Maung Win表示，通过改革国有银行、构建法律和监管框架以及加快基础设施建设，普惠金融项目将使更多的缅甸家庭和中小企业享受金融服务。本次改革将为所有相关地域提供完善的金融产品和服务，尤其是农村和缺乏金融服务的地区。
去年年初，Tech in Asia报道指出，缅甸25岁以下的青少年占总人口的40%以上。随着普惠金融项目的落实，这也将成为推动缅甸金融科技进步的主力军。
The World Bank established the Financial Sector Development Project to support Myanmar’s SMEs — the latest sign of progress in the country’s economy. The five-year project includes $100 million in credit, which will be used to allow SMEs increased access to financial services. The project will focus on the country’s microfinance and insurance sectors. The step by the multilateral organization adds to the continuance of Myanmar’s economic modernization since its political opening began a few years ago.
Fintech Ranking reported that Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win said;
“The project will help increase access to finance for households and small and medium-sized enterprises by reforming state-owned banks, strengthening the financial sector’s legal and regulatory frameworks and modernizing the financial sector infrastructure. These reforms are expected to extend the range of basic financial products and services to underserved areas and populations.”
According to the World Bank’s Country Director for Southeast Asia Ulrich Zachau;
“As Myanmar implements the Financial Sector Development Project, people in communities across the country will gain access to basic financial services and small loans. Improved access to credit will mean higher incomes and more jobs. Farmers, small businesses and low-income households will benefit. The World Bank Group is pleased to help finance the project.”
As Richard Horsey, a political analyst and former United Nations official in Yangon, told The New York Times in September last year;
“A level playing field helps mainly small and medium-sized industries in Myanmar, not the cronies who have thrived under sanctions for years and are geared up to circumvent them.”
Myanmar — a country whose youth aged under 25-years-old makes up over 40 percent of the population — shows much promise in tech participation. According to Tech in Asia earlier last year;
“Myanmar’s tech scene has erupted so quickly, and with such wild, uncontrollable energy that it hasn’t had the time to make sense of itself. Institutions like startup accelerators, venture capital firms, and even basic internet-centric laws for journalism and expression are still in their early stages.
A country unfamiliar with a free press just a few years ago now has a vibrant social sphere online – something that local powerful institutions have sometimes handled with grace, and other times with clumsy heavy-handedness.”
However, in terms of alternative finance and digital innovation, observers will have to wait and see how quickly things move in the country. ATMs were only first installed in 2012. Myanmar, known still as Burma to some, is one country where many of the world’s financially excluded people can be found.