Sri Mulyani: Eksklusi keuangan tantangan utama di banyak negara ASEAN

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has highlighted the challenge of financial exclusion and the importance of involving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in many ASEAN economies. Technology and digital development should help transform financial exclusion into inclusion in the region. Several ASEAN countries have not yet developed a financial inclusion index, indicating a significant gap between countries in financial inclusion. According to the Global Findex 2021 report, developed by the World Bank, there is still a significant gap in financial inclusion among ASEAN member countries. Some countries have an inclusion index as low as 3%, while others as high as 70%, but the ASEAN average is 41%. After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technology and digital economic development have rapidly developed in ASEAN, creating a critical opportunity not only for individual countries to adapt but also for SMEs. The ASEAN digital economy is projected to grow significantly in 2025. Moreover, the impact of the digital economy is even more important after the COVID-19 pandemic and has become a game-changer. Digital services have increased and deepened the financial sector whilst also enhancing access to formal financial products or services. The finance minister said these services provide significant opportunities for SMEs to help develop and innovate financial inclusion.

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