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The Relevance of Microbanking to APEC

The paper finds that 'financial exclusion' is the issue of common concern. In every APEC economy, some proportion of enterprises, households or individuals is excluded from access to financial services for a variety of reasons. Paper sees that: * exclusion requires a response and the process of overcoming financial exclusion can be given the generic label of 'microbanking' * in developing member economies, microfinance may be the form of microbanking offering most promise * in developed member economies, the appropriate solutions may be more heterogeneous Paper further suggests that the APEC microbanking symposium should call for an initiative to bind the Leaders' commitments to IT access and human capacity-building together with a complementary program for microbanking and MED. Concludes that this: * would become the landmark ECOTECH (economic and technical cooperation) activity, and could give the necessary visibility, coherence and momentum to economic and technical cooperation within APEC * could catalyse private sector resources and complement to bilateral and multilateral programs of development assistance, as well as addressing issues of common concern to all the APEC member economies * would address a strategy for promoting microbanking and microenterprise in APEC


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