Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  

Citigroup plans to hold financial edn summit in Bangladesh

Citigroup plans to hold an international financial education summit in Bangladesh.

As financial education is increasingly becoming important for micro finance activities, Citigroup's top executives in Asia Pacific region plan a summit in Bangladesh, the birthplace of micro credit.

"We will hold an annual summit in Bangladesh shortly," Ashok Vaswani, Citigroup CEO for Consumer Banking in Asia Pacific, told The Daily Star.

After visiting India and China, Citigroup's top officials will select a place for the third conference.

Last year, the group committed US$200 million over 10 years to support financial education programmes and organisations around the world.

The two-day second Financial Education Summit 2005 jointly organised by Citigroup and INSEAD ended in Kuala Lumpur on December 13.

More than 250 delegates from 30 countries participated in the summit held at Prince Hotel with representatives from private, government, and non-government organisations (NGOs). An eight-member team from Bangladesh also jointed the event.

Donald J Johnson, secretary general of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Dinh Tuyen Truong, trade minister of Vietnam, Anil Gaba, professor of risk management of Decision Science of INSEAD, and Liu Zhongjun, vice president of China Banking Association, were among the keynote speakers at the summit.

Ashok Vaswani said, "Our goal was to understand the level of interest in financial education around the region."

There is a tremendous need to help people budget and mange their income, save and invest efficiently, protect themselves against fraud and prepare for the future, Vaswani said.

"Financial education is important for everyone, and we should begin as early as possible." "Our commitment is serious. It is broad. It is long term. It cuts across ages, nationalities, income levels and financial experience."

The Citigroup Foundation focuses its grants primarily on three areas -- financial education, educating the next generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs.

International Herald Tribune supported the promotion of this event to attract participants from different countries.

INSEAD is widely recognised among the world's top-tier business schools as one of the most innovative and influential one. It is the only business school with full-fledged campuses in Asia and Europe.

First financial education summit was held in Hong Kong a year ago.