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In the afternoon of March 23, 2018, in Da Nang City, Vietnam Microfinance Working Group (VMFWG) co-ordinated with  the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and several international organizations to organize the “Microfinance and Financial Inclusion in Vietnam ”

Attending the seminar were representatives of the Office of the Government; Representatives of functional units of the State Bank, State Bank branches in Da Nang city, State Bank branches in Central provinces and Central Highlands; representative of VMFWG; Representatives from microfinance institutions and some regional press agencies.

Assigned as a focal point of SBV to coordinate with VMFWG in this seminar, Ha Hai An, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department (SBV), said that financial inclusion is a strategic goal for the system. Despite many existing challenges, it is undeniable that the current situation creates numerous opportunities to achieve this goal.

Mr. Ha Hai An, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department (SBV) gave the opening speech

Under the theme “Microfinance and Financial Inclusion in Vietnam”, the seminar is an opportunity to update the National Financial Incusion Strategy, creating an open exchange environment that helps microfinance institutions to be fully aware of their role in this strategy. This is also an opportunity for participants to share ideas and exchange information on technology applications in support of economic development as well as poverty reduction in Vietnam.

In fact, financial inclusion is considered an important pillar for growth, development and poverty reduction, which brings many practical benefits, contriutes to the mobilization and effective use of social resources. Financial Inclusion is implemented through 5 main areas including: New product development; Diversification of the network of financial service providers; Development of financial infrastructure; Protection of financial services’ users and Dissemination of financial knowledge.

With impressive growth rates, financial solutions based on technology (Fintech) are expected to provide new ways to approach and better serve low-income customers in the region, especially rural areas where the majority of microfinance institutions are present and trying to provide financial and non-financial services.

Mr. Dinh Xuan Ha, representative of the SBV, presented the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in Vietnam, adressing the comprehensive financial situation in Vietna; risks, challenges, opportunities and direction. His presentation also puts great emphasis on the role of microfinance in a comprehensive financial strategy.

Mr. Nghiem Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the Payment Department (SBV) also discussed the impact of Fintech on microfinance institutions, as well as opportunities and challenges for microfinanc institutions and Fintech companies to partner.

In the discussion, representatives of the relevant functional departments of the SBV also exchanged and responded to the issues that participants and representatives of microfinance institutions show interest.

Mr. Vo Minh, Director of SBV Da Nang branch and Mr. Bui Quang Huy, Citi Foundation’s permanent representative in Vietnam, Citi Vietnam External Relations Director awarded the prize to outstanding individuals

On this occasion, the State Bank, Citi Foundation and VMFWG also honored five outstanding individuals in the Central and the South, who are typical Citi – Vietnam Microentrepreneurs in 2017. The Citi – Vietnam Microentrepreneurship Award (CMA) is an annual event held in more than 30 countries in the world with a total value of over $ 12 million. In Vietnam, this is the 11th year. This award has been held in Vietnam and has proven to be one of the highest awards programs recognized by professional microfinance institutions, credit officers and microentrepreneurs in the country.

Mr. Bui Quang Huy, Citi Foundation’s permanent representative in Vietnam, Citi Vietnam’s External Relations Director said: “Citi – Vietnam Microentrepreneurship Awards 2017 continue to recognize the achievements of 31 microenterprise entrepreneurs, who has effectively used microfinance loans to start their own businesses, diversify their families’ income, and improve the living conditions of not only their families but also the community in a whole. Out of 31 typical micro entrepreneurs, CMA 2017, we are honored to invite here today 5 best individuals in Central and South Vietnam. They are great examples of many energetic and determined microfinance clients across the country. “