The Netherlands Queen Maxima, who is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, visited Zinardi Union Parishad in Narsingdi’s Palash upazila and learnt of how it provides services to the people through its a2i digital center.
Maxima, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, is in Bangladesh to promote how people can avail banking services, loans, savings for investments, which eventually lead to poverty reduction.
When the financial services are provided digitally to the poor and women, these have even greater impacts on the society, she told reporters at the Union Parishad premises.
The Dutch Queen Máxima arrived in Dhaka yesterday evening. She will stay here until tomorrow.
She is here to speak on improving women's access to financial services that include digitising the salary payments and supporting women entrepreneurs, said UNDP in a statement.
Around 50 per cent of adults in Bangladesh have a bank account or use other banking services, compared to only 31 per cent in 2014. However, 58 million adults lack access to a current or savings account, insurance policies, loans or digital payments limiting their opportunities for development, according to the Global Findex 2017.
And, only 36 per cent of women in the country has a bank account, compared to 65 per cent of men.
The Queen's last visit will be to ShopUp, Fintech, a business that helps small enterprises to sell their products via Facebook. ShopUp also gives advice on running a business and applying for loans to fund business expansion.
On Thursday 11 July, Queen Máxima will participate in a roundtable meeting with private sector representatives.
She will then have a series of meetings with the Governor of the Bangladesh Bank, Fazle Kabir, the Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Mustafa Jabbar, and a delegation from the Ministry of Finance.
Meetings on inclusive finance and the NFIS are also planned with the President of Bangladesh, Mohammad Abdul Hamid, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Her Majesty last visited Bangladesh in her capacity as UNSGSA in November 2015.
Queen Máxima, since her appointment as Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in 2009, works worldwide to make safe and affordable financial services available to all, including low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
She has been the honorary patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2011.