In a compelling keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), called for robust public sector engagement in digital finance. Georgieva emphasized the transformative impact of fintech innovation on global finance and advocated for the exploration and adoption of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Addressing an audience of global leaders and fintech enthusiasts, Georgieva lauded Singapore’s pioneering role in the fintech landscape and its significant contribution to bridging global financial divides.
Georgieva’s address centered on four key themes: the advancements in researching and developing CBDCs, the ongoing journey in the fintech sector, the critical role of the public sector in preparing for future deployment of CBDCs and related platforms, and the necessity for these platforms to be designed to facilitate cross-border payments.
Highlighting the potential of artificial intelligence in revolutionizing the fintech industry, Georgieva cited the rapid adoption of ChatGPT as indicative of the swift pace of technological advancements. She noted that while the adoption of CBDCs is in its nascent stages, about 60 percent of countries are actively exploring them, underlining their potential for enhancing financial inclusion, resilience, and efficiency.
Georgieva announced the launch of a new CBDC Handbook, aimed at equipping policymakers globally with insights and guidelines on CBDCs. She also discussed the criticality of efficient cross-border payments, the innovative efforts of banks and fintech companies in developing new platforms, and the public sector’s initiatives, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s project Guardian.
In concluding, Georgieva emphasized the necessity of collaborative efforts among international institutions, central banks, and finance ministries to steer this new era effectively. She quoted Marcel Proust, highlighting the value of fresh perspectives and the collective strength represented at the Singapore Fintech Festival.