12 January 2023:  ​The UAE recently participated in the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) meeting in the Finance Track of the G20 for 2023, which was held in person under India’s G20 Presidency from 9 until 11 January 2023 in Kolkata, India. The meeting was held to discuss the GPFI work plan for 2023 and agree on the financial inclusion action areas in line with the priorities of the Indian Presidency.

The UAE delegation included Mariam AlHajri, Deputy Director of the General Budget Department at the Ministry of Finance; and Faiza Al-Awadi, Head of Financial Consumer Protection at the Central Bank of the UAE. G20 members, invited countries, GPFI members, and international organizations such as the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also attended the meeting.

A financial inclusion symposium was also held on the sidelines of the meeting where members shared views on the proposed work plan for the GPFI. Members also discussed opportunities and challenges to Digital Financial Inclusion, as well as best practices and innovative instruments to overcome challenges with SME financing. Members also emphasized the importance of promoting financial consumer protection and financial literacy through continued collaboration and coordination with international organizations.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Finance team expressed its appreciation for the invitation by the Indian presidency to participate in the G20 in 2023 and stressed the importance of deploying digital infrastructure to enhance financial inclusion, where the team showcased UAE’s experience in the provision of digital services, such as the UAE Pass (the national digital identity). The ministry’s team also reiterated the importance of ensuring a balanced representation of regional organizations in the development process in planning for the upcoming Financial Inclusion Action Plan.

The GPFI next meeting is expected to take place in March 2023, during which the members will review and evaluate the group’s progress.