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, as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
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Private Sector Day - 8 May | Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur
Public Sector Day - 9 May | Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur
Side Events Day - 10 May | Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur
PRIVATE SECTOR DAY - 8 May Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur
Day 1 will focus on the role of the private sector in contributing, through remittances and investment, to achieve the SDGs, in particular on opportunities and challenges that need to be overcome for sustainable growth.
The opportunities, particularly in Asia-Pacific, are the sheer size of the remittance market, its leverage for financial inclusion, the application of new technologies and the focus and commitment of the public sector. However, there are many challenges to be overcome, such as de-risking and how to remain profitable.
Through information sessions, panel discussions and case studies, Day 1 will cover key issues faced by the private sector and discuss challenges and opportunities in the remittance market, with a look to the future. The Private Sector Day will culminate with the RemTECH Awards 2018 Asia-Pacific which will recognize some of the key innovations that are contributing to the advancement of remittances in Asia-Pacific. The Remittance Marketplace will run in parallel to the Forum and Forum Reception will be held on the evening of 8 May in the Marketplace.
Session I: Opening and keynote address: Migration and development in Asia
- Bank Negara Malaysia (the Central Bank of Malaysia)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- The World Bank Group
Migration is a global phenomenon involving around 258 million people. The longing for a better life for themselves and their loved ones back home spurs migrants to leave their communities to find better-paying jobs abroad, and the remittances they send home are a testimony of their strong commitment. The majority of migrant workers and their families have little or no access to financial services. Although the world’s economy is becoming more and more globalized, there is a strong need for increased financial education and inclusion. Remittances bring many benefits on their own, and leveraging them to help financial access, education and investment would bring additional benefits. This session will lay the Forum foundations by discussing the benefits that people on the move bring to their countries and communities, while highlighting some challenges that need to be addressed.
In the context of the GFRID 2018, IFAD will release its latest publication - RemitSCOPE Asia-Pacific - aimed at providing a better understanding of the remittance market and the best regulatory practices in place. RemitSCOPE Asia-Pacific will highlight industry trends and opportunities in today’s Asian remittance market and set the tone for subsequent Forum discussions.
Session II: Remittances and investments: Global trends and perspectives for Asia-Pacific
Having developed successful businesses, well-established remittance companies now face new opportunities and challenges. In this panel, leading industry players will reflect on market transformation over the last five years and share their vision on future developments. This panel will also showcase high-impact and time-tested remittance business models, demonstrate how effective collaboration among stakeholders in lowering costs and improving access to financial services has developed, and highlight areas where Asia-Pacific is in the lead, including current and future challenges.
There is a rising global awareness on the significant socio-economic contribution migrant workers and diasporas make towards development. While remittances are a crucial aspect of migrant workers’ financial contributions, there are also other powerful forces at work such as capital transnational and in-country investments by migrant workers and diasporas alike. These invest in SMEs, build assets and support the development of their home countries. This session will present the opportunities for investment mechanisms to develop the ideal product mix to meet both the financial and philanthropic expectations of migrant workers and diaspora investors alike.
Session III: Market opportunities to develop inclusive remittances and impact diaspora investment
Emerging money transfer business models: Unlocking opportunities
Whether they are traditional cash-based money transfer services or newer alternatives such as online, mobile or distributed ledger technology, innovative solutions are being developed everywhere across the remittance marketplace. In addition, a new trend of partnerships is emerging, offering new opportunities to local and international actors alike. This panel will share both positive and negative development experiences and ensuing cost implications.
Digital economy: Remittance services for broader market segments
The remittance industry is rapidly changing. As the move from cash-based money transfer services to digital solutions is beginning to gain momentum, the Asia-Pacific region is at the vanguard in some areas, bringing new opportunities and products to remittance senders and their families. This panel will describe how these innovations and new technologies are already transforming client perceptions and needs, and opening the doors to financial inclusion for remittance recipients.
Diaspora investment: Scope of market opportunities in Asia-Pacific
The reality of diasporas investing beyond their contribution through remittances in their countries of origin is now greatly recognized. However, providing access to investment products (e.g. bonds or mutual funds) according to national regulatory frameworks and markets often requires support to be widely distributed abroad to scattered diasporas and reach scale. This panel will present a range of perspectives allowing best practices to be shared more broadly; it will also look at the role that the private sector, together with governments, can play to encourage diaspora investment and allow these investments to reach scale, while mitigating risks.
De-risking in the remittance marketplace: Issues and alternative
De-risking has been a recognized phenomenon during the past four years. The effect has been significant in most markets but has impacted different countries and stakeholders in different ways. This panel will address recent trends and consider several innovations that could represent a solution to mitigate the de-risking phenomenon. The panel will also explore alternatives to ensure continued access to financial services.
Innovations and inclusive remittance business models and products that meet the needs of clients
The remittance market has been evolving and diversifying extensively over the last 30 years. Innovative approaches from private-sector entities have resulted in new business models and opportunities, enabling clients to access a larger selection of products while sending or receiving remittances. This panel will showcase replicable and scalable examples of industry-led initiatives that take into consideration customer realities (both recipients and senders) and match these with innovative solutions and sustainable and profitable products and services.
Promoting savings and investment of emittances: Amplifying the impact of remittances beyond household consumption
Remittances are far more than just the movement of private money. They are also a gateway towards financial inclusion. However, financial service providers still ignore the tremendous potential that remittance recipients represent to their potential client base. This panel will discuss what can be done to encourage financial service providers to provide attractive and relevant products to remittance senders and receivers (e.g. savings, credit, insurance). This panel will also showcase tools that can foster product acceptance such as technological platforms and the use of financial literacy programmes.
Session IV: The RemTECH Awards – 2018, Asia-Pacific
The RemTECH Awards, developed by Mohr World Consulting and the International Money Transfer Conferences (IMTC), will showcase the most innovative and outstanding ideas designed to improve remittance services. The 2018 RemTECH Awards will be presented to companies, groups, collectives, or individuals whose groundbreaking solutions are improving transparency, speed, cost, and reliability for companies and end-users sending and receiving remittances every day.
PUBLIC SECTOR DAY - 9 May
The introduction of SDG 10.c in 2015 has brought a renewed focus on how to leverage remittances for development. The Public Sector Day will build on the learnings from Day 1 and incorporate them into some of the vital initiatives that are currently taking place. Whilst a remittance, at its simplest, is a person-to-person money transfer, the development agenda recognizes that it presents opportunities to deliver so much more, especially through the potential contribution to financial inclusion and diaspora investment.
Using a variety of parallel and plenary sessions, the Public Sector Day will examine how to harness remittances for financial inclusion and how to achieve meaningful diaspora investment. It will also look at how to create successful public-private-partnerships and provide an update on the Global Compact for Migration. Day 2 will conclude by bringing together the themes of the first two days and outlining the Asia-Pacific action agenda for the following two years.
Session V: Promoting conducive and enabling remittance markets
Malaysia has transformed the money services business (MSB) sector with a series of key milestones starting with the enactment of the Money Services Act of 2011, including consolidation of MSBs through merger and acquisition, the introduction of the principal agent arrangement, and the establishment of the Malaysian Association of Money Services Business (MAMSB). The MSB sector has since transformed itself into one that is characterized with integrity, professionalism, and transparency. This session will discuss the transformation of Malaysia’s MSB sector – good practice and lessons.
While regulatory frameworks aim at balancing the need for a secure, level-playing field, and allowing for competition and innovation, this is not always achieved. Exclusivity, inadequate access to payments systems, AML/CFT compliance and currency controls are among the key issues to be addressed by regulators. As new players and technologies populate the Asian remittance market, regulators need to address ensuing risks and opportunities with appropriate measures. This panel will highlight the recent reforms in legislative and regulatory frameworks that govern money transfers and the remittance market in general, discuss options, and foster dialogue from both public and private sector perspectives on enabling remittance markets in Asia.
The private sector plays a pivotal role in providing sustainable and scalable options to migrant workers and their family members, to leverage the impact of their remittances and investments at household and macro-economic levels. By routing the funds sent or kept informally towards more secure, regulated channels, and into financial and investment products, the private sector support migrant families in achieving their own goals and contribute to accelerating the SDG agenda, well beyond SDG 10.c aimed at reducing the costs to of sending remittances. This is especially the case whereby an enabling environment, efficient markets and incentives are promoted by the public sector. Towards this end, there has been a growing understanding of the need to form partnerships between the public and private sectors, especially in delivering the SDGs. This panel will provide examples of current best practices and discuss how different stakeholders can apply them. It will also examine the essential requirements to make a positive public-private-people partnership work, and how public policies can support an enabling environment in the marketplace..
Regulating the remittance market: Emerging issues
The sheer size of remittance market has attracted new digital innovators into the industry to provide solutions in addressing the shortcomings of the traditional money transfer business model. Responding to the moves of these new entrants, existing industry players started to reinvigorate their business models by rapidly boosting their digital capabilities. This results in the emergence of new products and services not seen by the industry in the past decade, presenting new challenges to the regulators. This panel will explore practical challenges in regulating new risks, strategies adopted by the regulators in pursuing risk-management objectives, while promoting digitalization and new approaches to regulation, including changes to the regulatory framework and enforcement issues.
Promoting the use of regulated channels: The role of sending and receiving countries
It is estimated that the size of unregulated remittances could be as high as 50 per cent of the regulated flows in some Asian countries. Why do people use informal means and what can be done to change that behavior? How does this trend affect current service providers and emerging ones? Is it a matter of regulation, lack of financial literacy, or are other market forces at play? This panel will examine roles of regulators and private-sector entities in both corridors to encourage more remittances to be sent through formal channels.
SESSION VI: Migration, development and the SDGS
While remittances are specific to SDGs 10c, which is focused on reducing costs, there are other SDGs that remittances can help meet thanks to the opportunities that financial inclusion through remittances can provide. This panel will examine these benefits and debate on how to achieve them.
Diaspora commitment to support countries of origin goes far beyond sending money to their families; they also support their communities through investment of their hard-earned savings. However, large-scale diaspora investment has so far failed to be established. In some cases, local regulations are a large deterrent to the introduction of investment instruments that benefit diaspora members’ countries of origin. This other side of diaspora engagement encompasses entrepreneurship endeavors undertaken by migrant returnees and/or family members, as well as diaspora members' financial investment. If these forms of support concern a narrower number of migrant families and a more nascent set of public interventions, their impact on job creation and value added is significant. This panel will review the most common diaspora investment options and best practices, public sector enabling policies, and discuss scaling-up pathways to improve their contribution to the SDGs.
Session VII: GFRID 2018 Asia-Pacific and the Global Compact on Migration
The Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration is the key initiative that should be ratified in 2018. This groundbreaking initiative will set the framework and provide guidance that will enable all stakeholders to be able to assist and protect migrants. At the same time, this initiative takes into consideration the tremendous contributions made by migrant workers towards the development of their communities of origin through remittances and investments. This session will provide an update on progress to date and outline the key elements of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and its ramifications towards supporting the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
This session will consolidate the outcomes of the areas discussed during the GFRID 2018 into a series of key findings, lessons and conclusions. It will synthesize these into an agenda for action for 2018-2020 Asia-Pacific. This session will focus on those action areas that will make a real difference to the people who send and receive remittances, outline market and regulatory barriers and how they will be overcome, and describe the measures of success.
WORKSHOPS, MEETINGS AND CLOSING - 10 MAY
Following two full days of plenary and panel sessions, Day 3 will enable participants to explore key themes in significantly greater detail.
The morning will feature four interactive workshop examining key topics. In the afternoon, the organizers, partners and other selected entities will host a series of meetings and side events with agencies and government representatives. These sessions will be by invitation only. Participants will be able to share their knowledge in their own areas of expertise, learn about an area that is new to them and provide examples of success stories in other regions which have similar circumstances to the areas of focus.
Day 3 will provide the opportunity for all delegates to begin to put into practice their learnings from the first two days and to gain in-depth insights into a theme and region that is important and relevant to them.
Session VIII: Interactive workshops
Regulation and supervision of Money Services Business sector: Malaysia’s experience
Malaysia has transformed its money services business (MSB) industry, driven by a roadmap that oversees its migration from registration to licensing regime through arduous process of industry restructuring and consolidation, as well as regulatory and supervisory reform and establishment of strong industry association. Malaysia’s MSB transformation is a long but rewarding journey that may serve as a benchmark for others looking into enhancing the professionalism of the industry in their own countries. Successful transformation builds MSB industry’s resilience to ride on the wave of digitalization, but to ensure its sustainability it may call on for another policy and supervisory reform. How ready are regulators to adapt its policy in pace with technological changes? What data-driven solutions make it possible to better monitor and regulate digitized processes? Through this workshop, we aim to develop a constructive solution for issues faced by regulators in managing digital and ML/TF risk, while balancing the need for the industry to grow.
Blockchain and remittances: Are the new market strategies within reach?
Blockchain technology has gained increasing attention in recent years although it still retains a degree of skepticism. Blockchain has the potential to address fundamental problems in the remittance value chain, including potentially the transmission of consumer data, settlement between operators, etc. How are regulators positioning themselves to address this new trend? What solutions could blockchain bring to the remittance marketplace? The first part of this workshop will introduce a simple overview of blockchain, how it works and potential applications. Through a subsequent interactive discussion with participants, the panel will bring concrete and 'practical cases' and opportunities towards turning the hype currently surrounding block chain into tangible cases that could really make a difference in the remittance marketplace.
Financial inclusion and mobile solutions: Achieving financial inclusion in both the first and last mile of the remittance corridor
Mobile-enabled remittances provide more convenience to end-customers while reducing the costs. In addition, wallet-based mobile remittance allows the provision of leapfrog products catering the needs of unbanked remittance senders and recipients.The different forms of partnerships between mobile payment providers and other financial stakeholders present in the remittance value chain roll out an increasing array of financial options from payment to inclusive financial services. The workshop will present the dominant and promising models enabling the sending and / or the receiving of remittance through mobile phones and wallets and will discuss the key regulatory building-blocks that would support a solid backbone for cross-border and domestic partnerships.
Social impact investment meets diaspora investment in rural areas: Untapped opportunities
Over the last two decades, migrants and their families have silently contributed extensively to rural development. Through both remittance usage and direct investment into small agricultural activities, migrants have de facto become the largest contributors to development aid in rural communities. From the remittances invested in agriculture to the diaspora's agri-investments, this contribution represent over four times global ODA to agriculture. The first half of this panel will address numerous examples of such interventions by migrant families, and showcase limitations and opportunities for reaching significant scale. The second part will bring practical cases that can be replicated and scaled up with a potential long-term positive impact in rural transformation.
11:45 – 12:00 Session IX: GFRID 2020 and closing
14.00 – 17.00 Side events
Since 2014, IFAD has supported the development of “inclusive remittances” for rural migrants and their families that enable them to save and invest in their local economies. Inclusive remittances combine "wealth building" packages of financial products, partnerships that enable migrants to remit into them, and locally-based financial institutions that mobilize those savings into farms and rural enterprises. During this session, the project implementing partners will discuss the tools and methods necessary for developing inclusive remittances, the project's accomplishments, and the challenges that still need to be addressed in order to make inclusive remittances more accessible and effective.
The GFRID 2018 took place in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at Sasana Kijang, a centre of knowledge and learning excellence established by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2011. The centre represents the Bank’s continuous drive for talent development through effective learning initiatives, as well as creating a conducive environment to promote best practices in central banking.
Sasana Kijang also hosts the Bank’s regional and international strategic partners, namely the South East Asian Central Banks Research and Training Centre, Islamic Financial Services Board, and Alliance for Financial Inclusion. The World Bank commenced operations at Sasana Kijang in March 2016, and the Asia School of Business is temporarily located here pending the completion of its campus development.
The centre’s modern facilities provide an opportunity for learning, research and engaging in discourse with full conference facilities, including a main auditorium, and meeting and conference rooms.
For further information
Sasana Kijang – 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 03-9179 2888 | E-mail: [email protected]
Getting to Sasana Kijang
By Rail: KTM Komuter: 10 minute walk from the Bank Negara Komuter station (KA03) RapidKL LRT: 15 minute walk from the Bandaraya station (ST6 – Ampang Line).
By Car: Ample parking on LG4 and LG5, with a special area allocated for buses in the open parking area. A flat rate parking fee of RM5.00 per entry.
Metered taxi and Grab are widely available in Kuala Lumpur.