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Australia and the Philippines boost fintech cooperation

Singapore – In a major step towards technological collaboration, FinTech Alliance.ph, the Philippines’ leading and largest digital trade organization, and the Australian Government through Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade and investment across the fintech sector in the region.

This will strengthen Australia and the Philippines’ engagement on fintech policy and regulation to provide increased access to capital opportunities and address barriers.

“Australia and the Philippines’ digital economies are growing rapidly and dynamically –there is so much more that we can do to realise the full potential of our trade and investment relationship,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu PSM, FCPA.

This exciting partnership will enhance fintech cooperation between our countries, and provide fintech companies the support that they need in order to grow our digital economies,” added Ambassador Yu.

The partnership follows the elevation of the Philippines-Australia relationship to a Strategic Partnership declared by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and the Australian Government’s economic pivot to Southeast Asia through the launch of Invested: Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 in September.

Under this partnership, FinTech Alliance.ph and Austrade will organise initiatives to innovate financial services in the Philippines and Australia leading to enhanced commercial opportunities.

“We are very honoured to be working together with the Australian Government to further accelerate the rapid progress we are making in the fintech and trade industry, as well as for our digital economy. Through this invaluable partnership, we will be able to drive massive digital transformation for all, and continue to change the lives of our countrymen,” said Lito Villanueva, Founding Chairman of Fintech Alliance.PH.

The two organisations will be guided by the Philippines Development Plan 2023-2028 and Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy which sets out a practical pathway to increase Australia’s two-way trade and investment with the Southeast Asia region, including in the Philippine digital economy.

The partnership will also foster information sharing on emerging market trends and developments, including the use of new technologies to improve the fintech ecosystem in their respective markets.

It will also provide a framework for the Philippines to look more closely at Australia’s experience in open banking. At the same time, Australian fintech firms can learn more about the rapid development of the Philippines digital economy.

Australia is home to strong fintech innovators and early adopters. It has a robust and dynamic fintech ecosystem, backed by a stable regulatory environment, with policies that encourage innovation. Australia’s areas of innovation include payments systems reforms, enhanced digital assets, and open data regulations.

The Philippines fintech sector is also undergoing a remarkable transformation, fuelled by the country’s rapid digitalisation, a supportive regulatory framework, and concerted efforts to enhance financial inclusion. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) aims to shift

50 percent of all payment transactions to digital, and to onboard 70 percent of adult Filipinos into the formal financial system by the end of this year.

Present during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between FinTech Alliance.ph (FA.ph) and Austrade were (from left) Lito Villanueva, Founding Chairman, FA.ph (signatory); Mukund Narayanamurti, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Austrade (signatory); Antonilo Mauricio, General Manager, Philippines National Development Authority (witness); and HE Allaster Cox, High Commissioner, Australian High Commission, Singapore (witness)

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