Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the Central Bank of Nepal, has successfully organized the International Conference on Economics and Finance on 20 – 22 April 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The main theme of the conference was “The Role of Financial Sector Development on Economic Growth and Poverty Alleviation”. The venue of the conference was Hotel Yak and Yeti. A full day sight seeing tour to Bhaktapur and Dhulikel, was organized on the third and last day for international participants.
The conference brought together over 100 participants from 16 countries where 62 papers were presented in 21 sessions. The presence of so many people with diverse experiences and backgrounds resulted in rich discussions and new insights. The varied discussions can be generalized as having three common thoughts: (1) the importance of the financial sector for economic growth was reaffirmed, where discussions on country experiences suggest that the recent experiences of growth has not been inclusive and broad based; (2) the level of economic development and the maturity of the financial system prioritizes the policy for steering financial development, where developing countries have emphasized financial accessibility issues for equitable growth; (3) the importance of appropriate levels of regulation to address “market failures” was emphasized, where the complex nature of its formulation was highlighted.
The response of the stakeholders to the International Conference was positive. It is believed that the conference has provided new insight to policy makers for fine tuning their activities regarding the issues related to financial sector and poverty alleviation.