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Saturday, March 2, 2024

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Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity Kicks Off

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Integrity, Sustainability and Transparency in the Financial System is the focus of a three-day hybrid workshop series being held by the Regional Centre of Excellence (RCE) of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Mauritius, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa in Flic en Flac.

Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity

The event was officially launched, this morning, by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, in the presence of the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius and Chairperson of RCE Governing Board, Mr Harvesh Seegolam, the Director for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD, Dr Carmine Di Noia, the Director-General of the Independent Commission against Corruption, Dr Navin Beekarry, other personalities, and various stakeholders.

In his speech, the Finance Minister affirmed that having a strong synergy between financial institutions, regulatory bodies and the Government to create an environment that encourages and rewards integrity practices, sustainable initiatives and transparency. “Only then, can we build a financial system that not only weathers economic storms, but also fosters inclusive growth and societal well-being,” he averred.

Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity

According to Dr Padayachy, prosperity closely associated with economic growth can only be achieved through staunch commitment to further combat corruption, champion sustainable finance and promote responsible business conduct. “In Mauritius, this commitment has brought tremendous results with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and high level of investment,” he said. He informed that while economic growth for Mauritius was 8.9% in 2022 and 7.1% in 2023, it is expected to reach 6.5% in 2024.

The Minister also dwelt upon the impact and challenges brought about by climate change. Government is actively developing policies and incentives to boost green and inclusive finance, he added and recalled the launch of the Mauritius Integrated National Financing Framework to allow, among others, the issuance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) sovereign bonds soon.

Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity

Moreover, Dr Padayachy asserted that the financial instruments available are evolving to align with ESG principles. These instruments, he stated, would thereby ensure that capital flows contributed to economic growth, the well-being of communities and the preservation of the environment.

For his part, Mr Seegolam spoke of the principles of integrity, sustainability and transparency which collectively constitute the cornerstone for the effective functioning of financial systems. He elaborated on how these principles promote trust, as the DNA of the financial system, and confidence, as the bedrock upon which financial system operate.

Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity

As for Dr Di Noia, he elaborated on the ongoing cooperation between his organisation and the RCE in capacity building to support financial market governance based on the OECD’s international policy standards and best practices. He also mentioned the importance of global economic connectivity in Africa to encourage good governance and evidence-based policy development in the region.

Workshop Addressing Foundational Issues Of Financial System Integrity

For Dr Beekarry, any legislation, international standard or recommendation would not have any value if not enforced at the domestic level. He stressed on the significance of inter-agency cooperation in law enforcement to ensure effectiveness in the financial system by enabling agencies, with enforcement responsibilities at domestic level, to work together to address issues and implement legislation.

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