Crown Princess Maxima was in Seattle at the Global Savings Forum
Princess Maxima on November 16 and 17 participated in a conference organized by “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” in Seattle, USA as the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
The Gates couple are the chairmens and patrons of the foundation. In an interactive session, Princess Maxima and Melinda Gates discussed the developments in the field of ‘inclusive finance’ and stress the importance for people in developing countries to safely be able to save.
Princess Máxima said that people will have access to financial services as savings, loans and insurance as an important means for low-income groups to improve living standards. It is a means to help people pride, dignity and perspective to give a better life. Thus, a savings buffer against unforeseen events such as sickness, unemployment and natural disasters, and offers the opportunity to invest in a company or the children.
“I am a strong believer in the power of financial inclusion,” said Princess Máxima. “When financial services are provided properly, they can help people grow their businesses, shield themselves against unforeseen shocks and make better lives. And I cannot stress enough the importance of savings accounts. Savings is a debt-free way to make investments and take advantage of opportunities, whether starting a business or sending a child to school.”
The Princess cites as an example a group of women entrepreneurs in Kenya by saving half years within the investment and personal spending by 40 percent saw an improvement.
Over 250 participants from the financial sector, telecom industry, development sector and government from 38 countries gathered in Seattle for financial services more widely accessible. Princess Maxima at the Forum has also participated in a panel discussion on inclusive finance and workshops on various forms of saving.
Princess Maxima in September 2009 was appointed as special advocate of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
Tagged Microfinance, Official Visit, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, United Nations, United States of America.