XI National Microfinance Conference
The national microfinance conference is one of the major and most reputable events in the industry. It has long since become the venue for discussing the most urgent and important issues of microfinance development, and every year the organizers have managed to identify those issues and address them intelligently. The conference is supported by: RF Ministry of Finance, RF Chamber of Industry and Commerce, RF Federal Agency for Financial Monitoring, Russian Presidential Academy of Economy and Public Administration.
The conference has become one of the major and reputable events in the industry.
It has been convened every year since 2002, gathering hundreds of participants from Russian regions and from abroad. Thus, the X conference of 2011 was attended by 540 people from over sixty regions domestically and twenty foreign countries. For the latest three years the conference has been ranked among the Top 3 events of the Global Entrepreneurship Week held in more than 150 countries worldwide.
The discussions and decisions made at the conferences have formed the basis for development of the Russian microfinance market and expansion of the accessibility to financial services for the following year.
All major decisions, including draft laws On Credit Cooperation, On Microfinance Activity and Microfinance Institutions, On National Payment System and others, were developed taking into account the opinions and proposals of the conference participants. It should be noted that the problems of developing the national financial system have been examined through the prism of the global processes of inclusive finance development, Russia’s accession to the international instruments, such as G20. Every year, basing on the surveys of the industry players, the main theme is chosen dealing with the most topical issues challenging the microfinance sector and demanding urgent solution. The latest, 10th anniversary, conference served as a platform for working out the principled stand with regard to the development of the microfinance market regulation and supervision.
At different times the guests of the conference were prominent Russian and international politicians and public figures, just to mention H.R.H. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, the t UN Secretary General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of the Grameen Bank Professor Muhammad Unus.
The main organizer of the conference, as before, is the National Partnership of Microfinance Market Stakeholders (NAMMS). The co-organizers include the Russian Presidential Academy of Economy and Public Administration, Russian Microfinance Center, Association of Russian Banks, Russian non-government SME organization OPORA of Russia, National Union of Credit Cooperatives and their Associations, the League of Credit Unions, the Rural Credit Cooperatives Union, the non-profit organization Russian E-money Association, non-profit organization Microfinance and Development.
The opening ceremony will be attended by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, Head of the Federal Service for Financial Markets Dmitry Pankin, Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Savatyugin, Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Andrei Kashevarov.
It is not for the first time that strong international partners take part in the conference. This year the event will be supported by G20, its Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and the World Bank, the UN and other leading international development institutions.
Goals and Objectives of Conference 2012
The well-established legislative base has recently ensured rapid development of microfinance and credit cooperation, significantly increasing access of the people from small towns and rural areas to legal financial services, facilitating the start-up and growth of entrepreneurs’ businesses. Meanwhile, the rapid growth can give rise to certain imbalances and risks both for the financial system as a whole and for the consumers. The main role in their prevention and control is played by the emerging state supervision and regulation system.
However, at least equal responsibility is vested in the market players themselves – it is their activities that determine how microfinance is perceived by the customers and the public. The initial period of operation under the special legislation confirmed that the majority of the participants of the regulated market realize this responsibility in full and strive to create effective mechanisms of consumer right protection by opposing the “shadow” credit market activities. Still, the principles and indicators of the microfinance social impact need further discussion and development.
The social role and significance of financial accessibility will be the keynote idea of Conference 2012. The Conference is expected to review various forms of balance between financial and social outcomes, forms and methods of evaluating the social impact of microfinance on the borrowers – entrepreneurs and individuals. Besides, such important issues as advisability and risks of capping interest rates and other regulatory influence on the activities of companies issuing loans “against next payday” (PDL companies) are also envisaged for discussion.
Special attention will be paid to the problems of inclusive finance resulting from Russia’s participation in the G20 activities. In November 2012 Russia will officially assume the presidency in this influential international association which proclaimed improvement of financial access one of its main priorities. Therefore, Conference 2012 will be held under the auspices of the Russian Co-Chair of GPFI (Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion), a special body established by G20 to align the efforts of the member countries in this sphere.
The participants are going to discuss the global priorities of financial accessibility and their implementation in Russia. Including such issues as extension of the use of innovative technologies and electronic and mobile payment methods. This aspect is of special interest due to the new Law On National Payment System adopted in 2011, so the participants will have the opportunity to analyze the results of the first year of the new law enforcement.
The key issues of the Conference also include the effectiveness of self-regulation and state supervision in credit cooperation and advisability of introducing self-regulation in microfinance operations.
The Conference is due to consider the problems related to the efforts of expanding bank borrowing by small businesses and use of microcredit, review the methods of the state support of microfinance and self-employment.
Traditionally, the Conference is planning to highlight the debating problems of improvement of the legislation: amendments in the RF Civil Code, the law on consumer credit, on individual bankruptcy and various changes in the regulation of credit cooperation and microfinance activities.
The Conference will be held in the form of plenary meetings, discussion and training sessions, debates and round table discussions, which enhance the practicability of the event for all participants. Separately, the Investment Forum will be organized.
The Conference is expected to be attended by over 500 Russian and foreign participants – representatives of microfinance institutions and credit cooperatives, banks, federal and regional public authorities, international development institutes. Participating in the Conference is an efficient way to learn the news of microfinance, to share opinions on the most topical issues of increasing access to financial services.
You can register at the official web site http://www.conf.rusmicrofinance.ru
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