Inclusion in Myanmar: A New Hope

Inclusion in Myanmar: A New Hope

By the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
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.@MetLife Foundation's Multipliers of Prosperity highlights the financial transition in Myanmar #FinancialInclusion

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Photo Credit: Leesa Shrader, CGAP

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 11:30am

CAMPAIGN: Financial Inclusion

CONTENT: Article


Presented by MetLife Foundation in collaboration with WSJ. Custom Studios, Multipliers of Prosperity takes a look globally at the challenges we face in confronting the issues of financial inclusion. The program dives deep into what’s working, questions what isn’t and finds the possible fixes. Most importantly, the program chronicles the triumphs of people who have taken the steps toward financial stability and the providers who have helped them reach those goals. We explore how financial stability is created, the kind of finance models that have succeeded, and innovative new channels and technology that make for smart solutions. 
After decades of isolation, Myanmar in 2011 started to implement a range of economic and political reforms. With that, international donors and investors are tracking Myanmar’s financial transition, looking for any new data that might shed light on the country’s economic potential.

And there is encouraging data. Released in April, the World Bank’s 2014 Global Financial Inclusion database (known as Findex) included Myanmar for the first time. Still, the survey results underscore the monumental task of expanding financial services access in Myanmar, particularly among the poor and women. Three results from the report are especially noteworthy:

Myanmar still has very low levels of financial inclusion. 
Only 23 percent of adults reported having an account at a formal institution in 2014—among the lowest in the region. By comparison, China and Thailand reported that 79 percent and 77 percent of adults, respectively, have a formal account. Not surprisingly, women and the poor fare the worst in Myanmar. Only 17 percent of women and 16 percent of the poorest people have an account, the lowest recorded in the region.

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