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Fourth Krakow Forum (2 - 4 October 2008)

The Fourth Krakow Forum on Policy, Law and Regulation for Inclusive Finance brought together high-level policy makers to address issues regarding the improvement of the policy, legal and regulatory environment for inclusive financial system development in ten countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Participants worked together over three days in a spirit of peer learning, examining, discussing and debating strategic issues associated with inclusive finance, with a focus on six themes of particular relevance for the region.

The Forum was convened by CGAP and the Microfinance Center for Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States, in cooperation with the Russian Microfinance Center (MFC) and with the sponsorship of UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors and the Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation. It follows three previous Krakow Policy Forums, which have had a marked impact on policy reform in the participating countries by stimulating deeper dialogue, improving understanding and leveraging positive changes in the participating countries' legal and regulatory frameworks for microfinance. The specific objective of the Forum was to provide a platform to allow decision makers and regulators to:

1)Examine strategic issues associated with inclusive finance as an integral part of the financial system, leaving participants with a better understanding of issues and of the experiences of the countries in the region;

2)Increase the awareness of policy makers from countries not yet selected for Phase I or Phase II Initiatives

3)Discuss and debate among peers constraints to the development of inclusive finance and possible solutions, learning from best practice of relevance to the respective country contexts; and

4)Consider specific policies, laws, regulations and other measures that contribute to inclusive finance in the participating countries.

The Forum format was designed not only to allow participants to get a better understanding of the issues at hand, but also to position them to implement effective policy change in their home countries.