44th Annual Meeting Successfully Concludes

Posted on . Filed under Uncategorized. Be the first to comment.

The 44th Annual Meeting held last October 27-28, 2021, at the EDSA Shangri-La, Manila, where it was streamed via ZOOM was the first of its kind for ADFIAP and its members, of which 300 were in attendance from 87 member-DFIs in 36 countries and territories. This is to comply with health protocols set in place to ensure the safety of all attendees, as the world is still dealing with the Corona virus pandemic.

Day one began with a welcome speech from Secretary General, Enrique I. Florencio, reflecting and reimagining the role of development financing institutions and how they can still be relevant in the new normal, followed by Philippine Department of Finance Secretary, Carlos G. Dominguez, who gave the keynote address and acknowledged how DFI investments in agriculture, infrastructure, and small and medium enterprises fueled the transformation of society into, what he calls, the “development powerhouses they have become”.

The discussion of the relationship between the finance sector and the environment given by Sergiu Jiduc, Lead Consultant at WWF Singapore for Infrastructure Finance Research, was a highlight for the day, as he explained how potential solutions to climate change, which can exacerbate the loss of biodiversity, must address complex interdependencies such as financial risks.

Executives from several member banks each had a turn showing the impacts of the pandemic and how the governments of their respective countries tapped the DFI ecosystem to help restore and rejuvenate their economies. According to Darwin Trisna Djajawinata, Director for Operation and Finance, PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero), the government of Malaysia, as a response to the pandemic, repurposed development programs on reforming several sectors which include health, social systems, disaster relief, and economic recovery.

Aside from programs initiated as well as changes made to existing financial structures, member banks and DFIs also shared future endeavors to not only resuscitate but revitalize the economy into a sustained progress. Mr. Prahalathan Iyer, Chief General Manager of Export Import Bank of India (EXIMBANK), discussed opportunities for growth for DFIs which included boosting liquidity to MSMEs affected most by the pandemic, stimulating investment support and job creation, and stressed the need for institutional cooperation and cooperation to build capacities in other countries.

The second day of the conference began with a video presentation showcasing The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) with a brief look at their beginning, history, and how they have been pivotal in the development of the Philippines, with plans for sustainable progress well into the future. The video presentation also featured Esquire Financing, Inc., a company that caters to all the financing needs of Philippine SMEs as they believe they are at the core of a country’s economy. The video finished with a feature on Landbank of the Philippines and how they used technology to service clients under the new normal, providing services to ensure no one is left behind and that businesses remain afloat while helping communities transform and get the nation back on its feet with sustained development.

Sandra Peloquin, Director for International Relations of the Business Development Bank of Canada, discussed plans the bank will undertake as part of their recovery from the pandemic by 2022. She also and shared best practices in development and financing, which includes a brand new program called Digital Adoption Program that aims to help SMEs become more efficient, resilient, and competitive.

In keeping with this year’s theme of “DFIs and Post-Pandemic Opportunities and Thrusts,” discourses from member banks and DFIs featured plans for recovery, sustained growth, and prosperity, with a course of action that would essentially build a GREEN ECONOMY.

Mr. Rajan Uttamjandani, of Esquire Financing, Inc., then discussed how the MSME landscape has changed post Covid-19, and how technology should now be at the forefront of any SME. Esquire is currently developing an SME portal that will allow their clients to network and transact with one another.

State Development Corporation (VEB-Russian Federation) Senior Banker, Sergei Storchak, in his speech explained how, due to the ongoing emergence of new variants of Covid-19, we are all confronted by a new reality, and that emergency measures taken by DFIs last year, widely regarded as temporary, may become permanent and influence mandates and business strategies significantly. He also said that the new reality encouraged the renaissance of public development banks and DFIs around the world and that many development institutions were set up even in developed economies.

Discussing how empowerment of small businesses leads to bigger and more lucrative opportunities, Mr. Santiago Lim, COO and Executive Vice President for Small Business Corporation, Philippines, presented how Covid-19 affected SB Corp and their immediate action in response to the pandemic. Then he presented the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES program, which was funded by P3 (under President Duterte’s administration), as well as the Bayahinan 2 Act which assisted MSMEs, including tourism businesses.

A highlight of the day was the discussion of empowering small businesses. Mr. Santiago Lim, COO and Executive Vice President for Small Business Corporation, Philippines, presented a response to the pandemic called CARES or the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises program, which was funded by P3 (under President Duterte’s administration), as well as the Bayahinan 2 Act which assisted MSMEs, including tourism businesses.

Ending the conference was the ADFIAP Awards Winners and Merit Awardees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.