ASEAN Faces Major Challenge in Financial Exclusion, Says Sri Mulyani
29 March 2023 13:47 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani on Wednesday said that financial exclusion remains to be a challenge faced by many ASEAN countries, especially in terms of involving small and middle enterprises. This situation comes after improvements in digital technology and regional digital economic development, which she argues should have boosted financial exclusion into financial inclusion.
Mulyani on Wednesday attended the ASEAN Chairmanship 2023 Seminar: High-Level Dialogue on Promoting Digital Financial Inclusion and Literacy for MSMEs
According to her, gaps still remain in the financial inclusion index in ASEAN countries. Based on Global Findex 2021 data, the average financial inclusion of ASEAN countries is at 41 percent, the lowest index is at 3 percent, and the highest is 97 percent.
"Financial exclusion is still a big challenge and a critical factor for the economies of ASEAN countries," she said. “The 41 percent average does not mean anything due to its large gap.”
Furthermore, Sri Mulyani said that financial inclusion will be an important agenda in the ASEAN economy. Especially financial inclusion for micro, small, and medium enterprises or MSMEs.
According to her, attention to MSMEs is given because they contribute greatly to the national economy by contributing 61 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Minister Mulyani also highlighted the fact that it creates jobs for 90 to 97 percent of the workforce in Indonesia.
RIRI RAHAYU | ANTARA
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