His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, joined the 42ndRegular Meeting of the Council of Arab Central Banks Governors and Arab Monetary Associations, held in Amman, Jordan under the auspices of the Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Omar Razzaz. Representatives from the following organizations attended the meeting as observers: Arab League, the Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Union of Arab Banks, Union of Arab Securities Authorities, and Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). Arab Executive Officers of the IMF and World Bank also took part in the meeting.
The opening remarks included speech by Jordanian Prime Minister, speech by Dr. Mohammad Mansour Zammam, the Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen – the chairperson of the 42ndRegular Meeting, speech by Dr. Abdurrahman Ibin Abdullah Al Hamidy, the Director General Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund.
H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa praised the importance of the meeting and the topics it debated and the opportunities it gave to exchange expertise and coordination between Arab monetary authorities to be up-to-date with regional and international economic, financial, and banking developments. Mr. Shawwa also spoke about the experience of PMA in supporting SMEs, which constituted more than 95% of the Palestinian economy and the procedures taken by PMA to remove the obstacles SMEs faced and facilitate their access to credit so that they could actively contribute to economic development. The total of credit facilities given to SMEs rose by 180% in comparison with 2013 and their credit facilities constituted 16% of the overall credit portfolio, said Mr. Shawwa.
The meeting discussed a number of important issues including regional and international monetary, financial, and economic developments and their impact on Arab countries. The meeting hosted the General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements as key speaker. Moreover, the meeting discussed ways of enhancing credit for SMEs and the challenges of applying Blockchain techniques and the safety of the banking sector. The impact of the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR of the European Union on the financial sector was also debated in the meeting with the participation of senior officers from IMF.
The governors of the central banks and Arab monetary associations were briefed about the report of the Secretariat of the Council of Arab Central Banks Governors by Dr. Abdurrahman Ibin Abdullah Al Hamidy, the Director General Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund, and the draft Arab integrated economic report of 2018, recommendations of the Arab Committee on Banking Supervision,the Arab Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, and Arab Credit Information Committee. The recommendations of the Financial Inclusion Task Force and the Financial Stability Task Force were also discussed in the meeting.
Arab central bank governors discussed a number of issues, working papers, and reports including “Liquidity Risk Management in accordance with Basel III Requirements in Arab Countries,” “Supervision Procedures dealing with Weak Banks,” “Financial Empowerment of Women and Women’s Access to Banking Services,” “Using Electronic Payments Tools to Enhance Financial Inclusion,” “Giving Banks Incentives to Finance Emerging Businesses,” “Digital Revolution and its Impact on the Banking System and Financial Stability: Risks of Financial Innovations,” “Requirements of Issuing Local Index for Financial Stability in Arab Countries,” “The Role of Workers’ Remittances in Supporting Financial Stability,” “Risks of Financial Cyber Crimes and their Impact on Payment Systems,” “Instant Transfers Applications in Small Payments,” “Issues of Applying Electronic Check and Signature,” “Guidelines of the Entitlements of Users of Credit Information Services,” “Developing Systems for Movable Assets Registration in Arab Countries,” and “Using Credit Information for Supervision Purposes in Arab Countries.”