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Financial Inclusion

Nov 27, 2010 1:42:20 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Chandula Abeywickrema

Banking With the Poor Network Chairman and Hatton National Bank Deputy General Manager Marketing & Retail Banking Chandula Abeywickrema has been invited to be one of the opening keynote panel of speakers at the Microfinance Investment Summit which will be held over two days beginning on Thursday.
He will speak on the role of Microfinance  in developing countries and on striking the right balance between social and commercial returns of microfinance.
The summit would focus on creating capital markets that support high social impact investments to maximise growth in developing countries, reforming NGO MFIs to match investor demands without changing their social mission, implementing sustainable long-term business practices to increase efficiency and performance and establishing cost-effective strategies for outreach to rural areas.  The theme of the conference is “ New global initiatives on sustainable, economical investment strategies to achieve optimal growth, maximise partnerships and accelerate return”. The Asian microfinance industry is reaching significant maturity levels which has drawn a larger segment of the investor community to be greatly involved, facilitate and partner banks and microfinance institutes in empowering millions in Asia, not only in poverty alleviation, but also in the creation of millions of micro-entrepreneurs.
The conference will also feature key aspects such as: How can MFIs scale up to maximise their business performance and increase further investment, what are the strategies IFIs should consider to attract local investors and what are the current challenges for promoting investments in rural areas in order to maximise growth. Abeywickrema gave leadership to the most successful Asia Microfinance Forum held in Colombo last month (October) with an attendance of 450 delegates from  the world over. He would be  in a strong position to take critical learning points to the Microfinance Investment Summit as he shares the broader vision of the Banking With The Poor Network’s greater financial inclusion in Asia.