CEO Forum VIII in Bhutan on GNH warmly received

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ADFIAP has successfully held the 8th edition of its annual CEO conference and networking event (CEO Forum VIII) with the theme “Financing for Development in Pursuit of Gross National Happiness”, on December 5-7, 2011 in Thimpu, Bhutan. Hosted by the Financial Institutions Associations of Bhutan (FIAB), the event was attended by about 70 delegates from ADFIAP members, partner organizations and other invited guests from 17 countries. The event was also supported by the Association of DFIs of Malaysia (ADFIM).

The conference theme evolved around the four pillars of Gross National Happiness or GNH – the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance – the same areas that ADFIAP has been advocating for. There were two (2) technical sessions held on the theme. In Technical Session I, Dasho Karma Ura, discussed the philosophy and principles of GNH while Ms. Eden Dema, Deputy Governor of the Bhutan Central Bank, spoke about the importance of financial inclusion in the country. In Technical Session II, the topics focused on development banking and how it relates to the four pillars of GNH and included the following: (1) “Environmental Finance Programs” presented by Mr. Uwe Ohls, Director General for Europe & Asia, KfW Bankengruppe and Mr. Tajekiro Sueyoshi, Special Advisor, UNEP Finance Initiative in the Asia-Pacific region (2)“Financial Inclusion Programs” elaborated on by Mr. Sushil Muhnot, Chairman & Managing Director of the Small Industries Development Bank of India and Mr. Omar Bin Othman, General Manager & Chief Financial Officer, Tekun Nasional Malaysia; (3) “Institutional Capacity Building Programs for DFIs” presented by Mr. Isidro Sobrecarey, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Chairman’s Office, Development Bank of the Philippines and (4) “Good Governance Programs” presented by Mr. Nihal Fonseka, ADFIAP Chairman & CEO/Director, DFCC Bank and Mr. Irfan Yasar, Deputy General Manager, Development Bank of Turkey.

Mr. Kipchu Tshering, President, FIAB and CEO of Bhutan National Bank Limited, and Mr. Nihal Fonseka, ADFIAP Chairman and CEO of DFCC Bank, gave the welcome remarks to the delegates. His Excellency Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan, delivered the inaugural speech. Mr. Octavio B. Peralta, ADFIAP Secretary General, gave the vote of thanks.

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