28 Aug 2007

Conference in PNG aims to examine mircofinancing in Pacific countries

9:54 am on 28 August 2007

A conference being held in Papua New Guinea this week, aims to examine microfinancing in Pacific countries.

About 100 microfinance and financial sector practitioners and experts from up to 25 countries are attending.

The meeting will look at the provision of inclusive and sustainable financial services, including remittances, payment services and insurance, savings and credit in Pacific Islands.

The International Finance Corporation's spokesperson for East Asia and Pacific, Brigit Helms, who is a guest speaker, says microfinancing is a rapidly evolving field world-wide.

"M icrofinance over the last 30 years has shown us that its possible to do very small transaction banking, with very relatively poor people - people who have been left far behind in the traditional banking sector."

Brigit Helms says some collatoral is required but guarantees in microcredit are different to the requirements of commercial banks or a loanshark.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.