From May 8 to 10, Bank Negara Malaysia (the Central Bank of Malaysia), in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank Group, hosted over 400 practitioners from the public and private sectors, and the civil society, for the first country-led regional GFRID 2018 – Asia-Pacific. Twenty-two panels of experts discussed the current status of remittance flows to Asia-Pacific. They evaluated the latest developments in the remittance marketplaces serving the regions’ 50 countries through more than 6,000 separate corridors, and proposed policies and mechanisms to lower the transaction costs of migrant remittances, improve market efficiencies and maximize the impact of diaspora contributions for families in communities of origin.
The Forum discussions and interactive workshops benefited from the active engagement of the participants in considering ways and means to improve regulatory environments, promote financial inclusion, enable innovation and customize investment opportunities to the needs and interests of remittance families and diasporas. Referring to many proven practices in the region, the Forum attendees suggested that coherent public policies were needed to support private-sector and civil society initiatives.
The Forum came at a very timely moment as, through its specific priorities and actionable recommendations, it actively contributed to the preparatory processes leading up to the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December 2018. It also showcased the crucial role of remittances and migrant investments to the guidance and achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.