February 24, 2024

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Singapore: Integrated Financial Ecosystems for Least Developed Nations

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) was recently signed to work together to create integrated and digitised financial ecosystems for MSMEs from least developed nations (LDCs).

“MAS is excited to partner with UNCDF to develop Integrated Financial Ecosystems to help MSMEs from LDCs connect digitally and gain better financial access,” says Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS.

He added that the IFEs will provide digital infrastructures to equip micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with the necessary skill sets to build their operations and acquire access to funding through digitally verifiable credentials and inclusive credit assessment methods.

By facilitating better access to funding through open digital infrastructures, the partnership will assist MSMEs in improving their digitalisation capabilities. To begin with, MAS and UNCDF will work together to create the Pacific Islands Integrated Financial Ecosystem (PIIFE) to increase the digital connectivity of MSMEs and firms in Singapore and the Pacific Islands.

For participating MSMEs, the PIIFE will provide an open digital infrastructure in three areas:

  1. First is the financial empowerment of MSMEs through content that promotes broad financial literacy and skill sets for participating MSMEs, the successful completion of such online courses would produce verifiable digital certificates.
  2. Second is that MSMEs can more easily access secured and unsecured funding as well as financial services thanks to the Financial Trust Framework. This intends to make it possible for financial institutions to evaluate the creditworthiness of MSMEs using verifiable digital credentials and alternative data sets, such as a history of on-time supplier payments and timely tax payments to the appropriate authorities.
  3. And the third area is increasing commercial potential thanks to online commerce finding tools. These provide a scalable network of business-to-business ecosystems that can aid MSMEs in expanding domestically, throughout Asia, and in other growing areas.

The PIIFE is a collaborative project between public organisations, financial institutions, FinTechs, tech solution providers, and players in the Pacific Islands and Singapore.

According to UNCDF Officer in Charge Mourad Wahba, this collaboration represents the joining of two like-minded and specialist organisations seeking equitable and sustainable development through digital finance in the wide and lively Pacific Island region. They are excited to use their knowledge and expertise to create a digital ecosystem customised to the specific needs of Pacific Island people and enterprises.

Furthermore, Neha Mehta, Regional Lead for UNCDF in the Pacific, emphasised that the MSME and informal sectors create the most job possibilities in Pacific Island countries. The collaboration with the MAS will accelerate digitalisation and access to new data sources from traditional financial data and non-traditional data sources, fueling the growth story of MSMEs and SMEs.

It will improve the appraisal process for SMEs and allow for the expansion of the SME loan company. It has enormous potential for increasing total productivity and enhancing the Pacific region’s economies, hence raising the living standards of Pacific Islanders.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the MAS, the Bank of Ghana (BoG), and the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) signed an MoU to establish the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE). The GIFE intends to improve financial skills and access for MSMEs in Ghana, as well as to provide more chances for Singapore-Ghana trade and financial services cooperation.

The GIFE is a collaborative endeavour in Ghana and Singapore by public organisations, financial institutions, FinTechs, and digital solution suppliers. According to the MAS, GIFE is an important step toward greater collaboration between the two central banks and significant emerging markets.

The GIFE aims to outperform existing approaches to financial inclusion by combining support mechanisms powered by smarter data that MSMEs and financial institutions can use based on their requirements.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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