Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman has urged the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) member countries to work together to help poor households insure against health shocks and crop losses, which often reverses their hard-earned steady gains.
The BB governor made the appeal while addressing the concluding session at an international workshop on ‘Promoting Micro-finance for Economic Development of IORA Region’ in the capital Dhaka on Thursday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and the IORA jointly organized the workshop
The IORA, formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of government, business and academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
The 20-member organization is based on the principles of open regionalism for strengthening economic cooperation particularly on trade facilitation and investment, promotion as well as social development of the region.
“The IORA is one of the few international associations in the world which blends developed, developing and low-income countries, where some have achieved high level of development and economic growth, while some others are still struggling to achieve their development targets,” the BB Governor Dr. Rahman said.
He also said the geographic and resource diversities of the IORA region therefore should be viewed as its strength.
Dr. Rahman hoped that in the coming years the IORA will emerge as one of the most effective organizations in the world in extending international cooperation and global integration towards improvement of welfare of the poor.
“For achieving this goal, civil society, private sector, and academia should also engage themselves in knowledge exchange for the greater benefit of the people of this IORA member states,” the governor noted.
The central bank chief also said Bangladesh has already been globally recognized as a role model for successful implementation of microfinance programs.
Bangladesh has the highest microfinance loan density (342 per 1,000 adults) and the highest number of institutional branches accessible to the public, he added.
“For decades, microfinance in Bangladesh has been playing a key role in improving the living standards of thousands of poor, particularly poor women, in the rural areas.”
Among others Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali Real Admiral (Retd) Md. Khurshed Alam, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh and Director of the IORA Secretariat Firdaus Dahlan spoke on the occasion.