Queen Máxima to visit Myanmar to promote access to financial services

Government Information Service, no. 72

From Monday 30 March to Wednesday 1 April 2015 Her Majesty Queen Máxima will visit Myanmar as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

Queen Máxima is visiting Myanmar at the invitation of its government. The recently adopted Financial Inclusion Roadmap sets out how the finance and economics ministries, the central bank and the Financial Regulation Department intend to provide the country's inhabitants with access to safe and affordable financial services. The UN believes that the country has great potential for further economic development. Good access to bank and savings accounts, insurance and pensions is essential in this regard.

The visit will begin on Monday 30 March in Yangon, where Queen Máxima will hold talks with representatives of banks, microfinance institutions and telecom providers. It is important for these organisations to work together if more people are to make use of financial services. Mobile banking is a key tool for obtaining access to financial services (see Queen Máxima's speech to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 2 March 2015).

On Tuesday 31 March Queen Máxima will deliver a speech at Yangon University on the importance of access to financial services. She will also visit local entrepreneurs near Yangon who have been able to expand their businesses with the help of small loans.

On Wednesday 1 April Queen Máxima will attend the launch of the Financial Inclusion Roadmap in the capital Nay Pyi Taw. She will also meet with representatives of Myanmar's government, central bank and parliament, among others, to discuss the importance of access to financial services for the development of the country's people.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Queen Máxima as his Special Advocate in September 2009. In this capacity, she advises him on access to financial services and she also promotes access to financial services for people all over the world. This contributes to the development of low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Since June 2011 Queen Máxima has been Honorary Chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).



Queen Máxima attends Brussels working dinner on financial education

RVD, no. 69

On Wednesday 25 March Her Majesty Queen Máxima attended a private working dinner at the residence of the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels. She did so in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and as honorary chair of the Money Wise Platform. Also present at the dinner, which focused on the importance of financial education in Europe, were European officials, policymakers and representatives of the financial sector.

The event, the first in a move to raise the profile of financial education in Europe, was hosted by the Dutch ambassador to the EU, Pieter de Gooijer, and the Chief Executive of the European Banking Federation, Wim Mijs. The Netherlands was also represented at the dinner by finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and president of De Nederlandsche Bank Klaas Knot. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, also attended, as did Jonathan Hill, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, and Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture Youth and Sport. Other guests included the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the EU and current President of the Council of the EU, Ilze Juhansone, and a representative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Máxima champions access to financial services for all, and is keen to emphasise the importance of financial skills and responsible financial behaviour for young people and adults alike. 

The Money Wise Platform, an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Finance, unites partners from the financial sector, government, and public information and consumer organisations. It was established to promote the importance of financial education and of managing money sensibly. One way it does this is through National Money Week, as part of which experts from financial institutions visit primary schools to teach children how to manage their money. This year a similar event, European Money Week, is being held for the first time.