East Asia and Pacific

East Asia and Pacific (EAP) contains a significant share of the world’s population (27%) and the world’s poor (24%). It includes twenty five countries, and three major sub-regions with significant heterogeneity (China, the Pacific, and East Asia).  Overall, the region has enjoyed a high rate of economic growth in the past years, especially China, and relative resilience to the financial crisis.

The region has the highest percentage of adults with a formal account according to Findex (54%).  However, there are several large underserved markets (e.g. Vietnam, Myanmar, and China), and less than thirty percent of poor people have formal access. Governments play a prominent role at all levels of the financial system, and private microfinance has limited coverage (15% of total clients recorded by Mix worldwide). The region has several success stories in the area of regulations, retail models or branchless banking.

In EAP, CGAP focuses on fostering knowledge and good practices on supervision and regulation, and on using technology to expand financial access.  We often collaborate with our members (e.g. AusAid, ADB, IFC, JICA,WB), with local stakeholders, and with regional networks (e.g. SEACEN, BWTP). Given its size and influence in the world, we are increasing our engagement with China.



05 March 2014
This case study examines the design and implementation of the 4Ps conditional cash transfer program in the Philippines, explains the experiences of stakeholders and presents lessons learned.
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English (40 pages)
29 January 2013
The report finds that Myanmar’s banking sector so far has found it commercially challenging to extend financial access to the poor. As a result, fewer than 20 people out of 100 have access to formal financial services, with most people relying on family savings or costly alternatives such as informal money lenders.
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English (54 pages)

From Our Blog

Man looks at a mobile phone, China
16 November 2016
1 comment
Digital technologies are changing the financial inclusion landscape worldwide by revolutionizing access to finance, connecting hundreds of millions to formal financial services for the first time. Financial market regulators, supervisors and overseers are racing to keep pace with these developments.
Human-centered design meeting for Wave Money Myanmar
18 October 2016
Myanmar has experienced remarkable growth in smartphone penetration compared to other frontier markets. A partnership between Wave Money, CGAP and Small Surfaces is leveraging human-centered design to build a digital finance app, seeking to capitalize on this opportunity to reach the unbanked.