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10 Mar 2015

Forum on access to finance for Central, Eastern Europe, CIS in Belarus in H1 2015

MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) – A regional forum on access to finance for Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS states will take place in Belarus in H1 2015, in May-June, BelTA learned from Sergei Dubkov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.

The forum is expected to gather representatives of the central banks, finance ministries, and government agencies of countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia as well as top officials of the international Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). The organization of the forum is part of the project meant to assist with regional cooperation in enabling access to finance in Eastern Europe and the CIS. The Alliance for Financial Inclusion has granted over €200,000 to the National Bank for implementing the project.

Sergei Dubkov stressed that the fact indicates that Belarus’ leading position in the region is recognized. Although Belarus started raising the financial awareness of its citizens only a short while ago, the accumulated experience is in demand in other countries. The large-scale statistics research carried out by the National Bank in 2011-2013 at the expense of another AFI grant also met strong interest. As part of the research specialists collected information about how individuals and small businesses in Belarus use financial services. Detailed maps of access to finance were compiled with regard to financial products, services, and consumers. “We did a unique piece of work. We measured the financial inclusion and literacy in all the regions of the country. Now other countries use the practices we have,” said the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.

Among the other topical international initiatives that Belarus is part of Sergei Dubkov mentioned the Financial Literacy Week. This year the Week is scheduled to take place in Belarus on 9-17 March. Young winners of a financial quiz arranged as part of the project 12 Money Lessons were awarded at premises of the National Bank on 10 March.

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