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Mr. Ranil M Salgado

Recent Developments and Near-Term Outlook Although growth in the Asia-Pacific economies is expected to decelerate slightly to about 5¼ percent during 2016–17, the area remains the most dynamic region of the global economy. Asia’s growth moderation partly reflects a still-weak global recovery and ongoing but necessary rebalancing in China. Downside risks have also increased. With external demand faltering, domestic demand should remain a major driver of activity across most of the region. Domestic demand, particularly consumption, will continue to be

Mrs. Sarwat Jahan, Jayendu De, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, and Cormac Sullivan

I. Introduction The role of financial inclusion in the fight against poverty and the pursuit of inclusive development is now widely recognized. Over the past few years, Asia-Pacific economies have bolstered their reform efforts that target financial inclusion. Policymakers have pursued these reforms to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and inequality, promote entrepreneurship and advance economic development. This is particularly important in the Asia-Pacific region given that the use of formal finance is minimal in some countries, and the prevalence of

Mrs. Sarwat Jahan, Jayendu De, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, and Cormac Sullivan
Financial inclusion is a multidimensional concept and countries have chosen diverse methods of enhancing financial inclusion with varying degrees of results. The heterogeneity of financial inclusion is particularly striking in the Asia-Pacific region as member countries range from those that are at the cutting edge of financial technology to others that are aiming to provide access to basic financial services. The wide disparity is not only inter-country but also intra-country. The focus of this paper is to take stock of the current state of financial inclusion in the Asia-Pacific region by highlighting twelve stylized facts about the state of financial inclusion in these countries. The paper finds that the state of financial inclusion depends on several factors, but a holistic approach calibrated to specific country conditions may lead to greater financial inclusion.