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G20 to promote digital financial inclusion, 'green finance'

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Online)    10:27, September 02, 2016

Yi Gang, deputy govenor of People's Bank of China, addresses a press conference. Photo: Xia Xiaolun

The G20 Hangzhou summit has developed a set of High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion to guide both G20 and non-G20 countries, the deputy governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said prior to the summit’s opening.

Yi Gang, a PBOC deputy governor, said at a press conference on Sept. 1 that the principles include 66 recommendations, covering topics from the use of digital technology to the promotion of a basic infrastructure for digital financial services.

The principles will be reviewed and issued by this year's summit so that countries can design their own financial inclusion agendas.

Yi noted that the principles aim to help low-income groups with little access to information. They support economic growth by reducing poverty, lowering the unemployment rate and promoting education.

The G20 Financial Inclusion Indicator System has also been updated with new indicators, according to a press release.

According to Yi, this year's G20 summit will be the first one to discuss “green finance,” which aims to promote environmental awawareness in finance activities. A G20 Green Finance Study Group has also been established.

Co-chaired by PBOC and the Bank of England, the group has developed a report that clarifies the definition and mandates the scope of green finance. Additionally, it provides options and ideas for countries to consider that support the transition to green, low-carbon growth models, the deputy governor noted.

China issued green bonds worth 120 billion yuan within the first seven months of 2016, or some 40 percent of the world's total, he added.

Addressing the summit, Yi revealed that the RMB will be included in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket on Oct. 1. He also mentioned that the World Bank issued SDR-denominated bonds of 500 million yuan on Aug. 31.

"We are going to issue SDR-denominated bonds of 2 billion yuan with a term of 3 years," he said.

According to the press release, G20 participants have agreed on nine priority areas, 48 guiding principles and an indicator system for structural reform. In addition, this year's summit will also see the issuance of several important documents, including the Hangzhou Action Plan, the 2016 Accountablity Assessment Report and 2016 country growth strategies by individual members.  

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(Editor: Huang Jin,Bianji)

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