Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman has advised SAARCFINANCE member central banks to introduce new financial products along with technological facilities for strengthening the ongoing financial inclusion initiatives in the SAARC region.
“New financial products will have to be introduced along with latest technological facilities for enhancing financial inclusion initiatives in the region,” BB Governor Dr. Rahman said while addressing at a working session of the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Symposium on Financial Inclusion held at a city’s hotel on Friday.
He also said: “We’ll have to ensure our safe and sound technology-based payment system,”
The governor stressed on the quality of growth where a broad based people can be included in the growth process which can also foster financial stability in an economy.
Different issues including SARRCFINANCE database, SAARC payment council, enhancing financial literacy and creation of SWAP arrangements were discussed at the day-long symposium, according to a BB statement.
Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan appreciated Dr. Atiur Rahman’s initiatives to expend the green banking initiative in Bangladesh.
The RBI chief also highlighted the problems of financial inclusion in the SAARC region. Major problems of enhancing financial inclusion in the region are religious prohibition of interest and lack of financial literacy, he added.
Regarding the creation of SAARCFINANCE database, Dr. Rajan said that the RBI has already taken initiatives and created a template in line with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) guidelines.
He also stressed on some issues including flow of remittance across border, cross border trade and capacity building.  “We should use the SAARC University for conducting collaborative research.”
BB Governor Dr Rahman supported this idea of utilising SAARC University for collaborative research and capacity building.
The Symposium, organised by the central bank of Bangladesh as a part of achieving one of the broad objectives of SAARCFIANCE to forge closer cooperation on macro-economic policies of SAARC member countries and to share experiences and ideas.
The SAARCFINANCE was formed in October 1998 as a network of central bank governors and finance secretaries of the SAARC region that groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
It is now working to promote cooperation and research, training and exchange of ideas and information on economic and financial issues among its member countries.