Queen Máxima to view progress on access to financial services during visit to Indonesia

Her Majesty Queen Máxima will visit the Republic of Indonesia from Sunday 11 February to Tuesday 13 February 2018 in her capacity as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. The purpose of her visit is to view progress on Indonesia’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, launched in autumn 2016, to promote access to financial services such as bank or savings accounts, loans, insurance and pensions. One of the government’s aims is that 75% of the adult population will have a bank account by the end of 2019. Access to financial services contributes to people’s economic and social development and reduces poverty, according to the World Bank. 

Queen Máxima last visited Indonesia in her UN role in August 2016. On that occasion she advised establishing a National Council for Inclusive Finance to coordinate the strategy’s implementation. The Council is now operational under the supervision of President Joko Widodo. During her upcoming visit Queen Máxima will look at the progress made in implementing the strategy, especially the opening of new bank outlets, innovative, digital financial services and mobile banking that brings banking facilities closer to people. To date, access to banking services has been hampered by the fact that Indonesia consists of many thousands of islands. Another area of focus is finance for farmers and small and medium-sized businesses.

On 12 February Queen Máxima will visit the province of Lampung on the island of Sumatra, where farming is the main source of livelihood. Here she will talk with smallholders about structurally improving yields through value chain finance, i.e. by means of financial services and products. The Indonesian social enterprise Vasham supports smallholders’ development by providing loans, giving advice on running a business and helping negotiate fair prices. In the late afternoon, Queen Máxima will take part in a roundtable discussion on value chain finance with representatives from the agriculture sector.

On Tuesday 13 February,  Queen Máxima will meet with the secretariat of the Inclusive Finance National Council. Talks have also been scheduled with economic affairs minister Darmin Nasution, finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, human development and cultural affairs minister Puan Maharani, Governor Agus Martowardojo of Bank Indonesia and Wimboh Santoso, chair of the Financial Service Authority (OJK). Time has been set aside, too, for a meeting between Queen Máxima and President Widodo. 

Queen Máxima also pays a working visit to the company Go-Jek. Go-Jek offers transport on motorcycles via a taxi-app. Various services from small entrepreneurs are also provided, for example meal delivery. Through working with Go- Jek, drivers get access to financial services, most for the first time, including savings, housing loans, and insurance. A roundtable discussion with designated development partners, including the World Bank and the local UN office, will conclude Queen Máxima’s programme in Indonesia.

Queen Máxima has visited Indonesia twice previously in her UN role: in April 2012 and in August 2016.