May 13, 2015
ASKI Global Ltd. holds inclusive dev’t and migration forum in Singapore
Leaders, implementers, government agencies and non-profit organisations convened during the Inclusive Development and Migration Forum organized by ASKI Global Ltd. last February 7 at the National University of Singapore. The activity is aimed at addressing issues to the improvement of socio-economic status of migrant workers and their families.

According to ASKI Global Chief Executive Officer Irma Cosico, the organization recognises the inclusion of migrant workers and their families as an important market that needs to be looked at. The forum served as an avenue where inclusive development practices are shared not only in the field of remittance, but also in financial education, microfinance and social entrepreneurship.

“It is our belief that integrating these areas in any development intervention for migrant workers can result in real inclusive development,” she added. Among the areas shared and discussed development efforts in harnessing the potential of migrant workers were (1) Leveraging Remittances for Development, (2) Financial Capability and Technology, (3) Crossborder Microfinancing and (4) Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship for an Inclusive Future.

In the opening remarks, Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme of National University of Singapore Director Associate Professor Albert Chu-Ying Teo, and Citi Commercial Bank Managing Director and Head Hsiu-Yi Lin noted on the plight of migrant workers, particularly on how their remittances are being utilised.

Lin stated that less than 10% of global remittances are used for savings and productive investments and FORUM. The speakers during the Inclusive Development and Migration Forum with ASKI Global Ltd. CEO Irma L. Cosico held at National University of Singapore last February 7. the remittances migrant workers generate have limited positive impacts on their families as well as their communities.

Professor Teo, on the other hand, said: “Now, as we move forward from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Goals, the question all of us should ponder on is: “how do you unlock the potential of remittances and channel these funds to support sustainable and inclusive development?.”

Department of Finance of the Philippines Undersecretary Gil Beltran highlighted in his keynote speech how the Philippines maximises the benefits of remittances to the national economy through initiatives such as the Financial Learning Campaign of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as well as the National Strategy of Microfinance.

“We discovered that the most effective way of enhancing the value of remittances is by encouraging the overseas Filipinos and their dependents to save as well as invest in the country, particularly in their hometowns. This is to promote economic and social investment,” Beltran said.

Speakers during the forum include Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chairperson Secretary Imelda Nicolas; Aidha Chief Executive Officer Karen Fernandez; International Fund for Agriculture Development Financial Facility for Remittances Manager Pedro De Vasconcelos; and Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia President Lisa M. Dacanay.

The closing synthesis was delivered by Eduardo Jimenez, former regional associate of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a global network for financial regulators from developing countries. He stressed on the importance
of constant and regular dialogues among stakeholders on these issues, the need for practitioners to invest in evidence based research as well as technology to further validate and enhance their impacts, and finally left us with a question on whether the ASEAN platform can be leveraged upon to promote financial inclusion in this region.

The event was organized in partnership with Citi Foundation and Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme of the NUS. It was also supported by ASKI Philippines, Landbank of the Philippines, BPI Foundation and Philippine Airlines.
FORUM. The speakers during the Inclusive Development and Migration Forum with ASKI Global Ltd. CEO Irma L. Cosico held at National University of Singapore last February 7.
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