Nearly 90 million international migrants (one-third of the world’s total) are sourced from the Asia-Pacific region. About a third of this migration takes place within Asia and is linked to formal, short-term employment contracts for low-skill work.
Remittances are a very important source of income for transnational families and could enable improved education and health, and socio-economic mobility for large numbers in the source countries. However many gaps remain. Many migrants in Asia remain vulnerable to economic shocks and pressure, struggle to finance their migration, suffer from a lack of job security in the host destination, and remain vulnerable to unscrupulous recruiters and lenders. Financial institutions and public programs often offer only limited products and services to this population, further exacerbating their ability to manage their money and successfully achieve their migration goals and dreams.
Arguably there is room for financial empowerment of these migrants both through education and mentoring and through the provision of enhanced and innovative tools, products and services. These solutions need to be grounded in the realities of their situation and targeted to the constraints that these migrants face: whether these are constrained access to technology, lack of knowledge and information, lack of motivation to leverage the knowledge, or other social and behavioural constraints. They also need to be grounded in the realities of their daily lives – where employment conditions may not permit them to access financial products at brick-and-mortar financial institutions, and where the pandemic has increasingly moved information dissemination, family communication, money transfers and management online.
This two-day online workshop aims to bring together researchers, nonprofits and digital service providers to talk about their work that addresses the particular challenges in financial empowerment – including their learning from prior work, and directions for future intervention design and research explorations.
The workshop is co-hosted by Asian Development Bank & HKUST Center for Economic Policy and supported by HKUST IEMS.
More details such as the schedule and speakers' bios and further updates about the event can be found on the official event webpage.
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