Seminar Explores Potentials of Digitalization of Finance

25 Sep, 2022

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The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) and the IsDB Directorate of Global Practices and Partnerships (GPP) have organized a seminar on the global developments related to digitalization of money and finance.

During the seminar, held on 20 September 2022, two presentations were delivered exploring the potentials and benefits of digital currencies and digital vouchers in fostering financial inclusion and development.

Mr. Dong He, a Deputy Director, Monetary & Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF), gave the first presentation titled ‘Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): An Overview’. Mr. He has oversight responsibility for the department’s work on digital currencies and fintech.

In his presentation, Mr. He highlighted that rapid progress in digital technology creates new forms of digital money and payments, in particular the central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

He explained that CBDC will serve as a foundation of the digital economy, and that effective public-private partnerships and international cooperation are essential to ensure the success of digital finance at various levels.

The second presentation, titled ‘Digital Vouchers: A Sustainable and Smart Digital System for Financial Inclusion’, was delivered by Dr. Hilal Houssain, Team Leader, IsDBI Knowledge Solutions Team. Dr. Houssain’s work at IsDBI focuses on turning ideas into platform-level innovations, and developing real world state-of-the-art tech solutions using emerging technologies for financial and economic development challenges.

In his presentation, Dr. Houssain highlighted the importance of emerging technologies in supporting financial inclusion and social development, as well as enhancing impact financing at the economy’s level. He explained that the digital voucher solution, developed by IsDBI, is built on blockchain technology supported by artificial intelligence / machine learning, and used as restricted complementary digital currency.

The seminar was moderated by Dr. Rami Abdelkafi, Team Leader, IsDBI Knowledge Leaders Team.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Dong He visited the IsDB Institute where he held a meeting with the Institute’s Management Team, led by Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of IsDBI and Group Chief Economist. The meeting discussed potential collaboration between the Institute and IMF in various areas related to digital finance policies and sustainable development.

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