Samoa is hosting some of the most high profile bankers from the region and the world this week.
They are in the country for the fourth Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (P.I.R.I) high-level forum, which was opened yesterday.
The two-day event is being held at Taumeasina Island Resort.
P.I.R.I. comprises a group of Central banks in some Pacific Island countries who work to promote financial inclusion in the region and also in their respective countries.
Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa, Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari, said the theme of the meeting is the advancement of technological innovations that they had in recent years.
“The meeting is to talk about financial technology and its good side of how it can help promote financial inclusion and at the same time to look at the challenges of using it,” she said.
“So that the consumers that are using it will be protected and also promote the stability of the financial system.
“The discussions in the next two days will mainly focus on how we could use financial technology, in terms of advancing of our financial agenda at the same time how the regulators can look into making sure that they use fintech to protect those that are going to use it,” she said.
“We have two countries from the Caribbean’s, Seychelles and Bahamas because to them they are also Island States like us.
“So we meet every year and we are part of an umbrella group that is called an Alliance Financial Inclusion. So the Alliance of Financial Inclusion has so many other members from other countries, but we have our own specific regional group within the Alliance of Financial Inclusion (A.F.I.).”
Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti said: “Samoa hosted the Alliance for Finance Inclusion Pacific Island in 2011. After seven years we welcome this opportunity to again host another A.F.I. event, which I am told is quite special itself because this time the Pacific Islands work in group has apparently transformed itself into a new entity called the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative.
“I do hope that this transformation will result in more tangible value adding for the targeted beneficiaries in our region.”
He also highlighted the importance of the forum for each island nation and the impact for the people.
“Financial inclusion is obviously a topic of far importance for the Pacific Islands region. This is evident when the Forum Economic Ministers meeting in 2009 adopted the 2020 money Pacific goals.
“These goals include all children to receive financial education through core curriculum, all adults who have access to financial education, simple and transparent consumer protection to be in place and to half the number of households without access to basic financial services,” Sili said.
“It will be particularly interesting to know how the individual countries that perform in advancing these goals and it is something that you will need to discuss and if we haven’t made progress then we would need to strategise and learn from the experiences of others so that we can move forward.”