I am honored to represent Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Central Bank of Nepal, as the Chairman of APRACA for the biennial 2016-2018. On this special occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all the member institutions and partners of APRACA.
As a founding member of APRACA, NRB is always ready to contribute to its progress. The objectives of NRB are aligned closely with the national objective of poverty alleviation.Since the agriculture sector is still the mainstay of the economy by contributing about one-third of GDP and employing about two-third of labor force, and a majority of people still live in rural area, we believe that it is essential to focus on the promotion of rural and agricultural credit in the country. In this context, NRB’s association with APRACA provides an appropriate platform for sharing knowledge and ideas with other member institutions in the Asia and Pacific region to expand agricultural and rural credit.
We are all cognizant of the fact that since its establishment in 1977, APRACA has been playing an instrumental role in promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of rural finance and improving access to financial services in the Asia Pacific region through a network of knowledge sharing and learning, capacity-building, research and exchange of expertise among its member institutions. On top of that, APRACA has always been fortunate to receive continued financial support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that has been one of the responsible factors in the achievement of its goals and objectives.
My top priority, as the current Chair of this Association, will be to implement continuously APRACA’s Strategic Plan for 2013-2018. Although progress has been made in its implementation, the objectives delineated in the Plan can be fully attained only by the active participation of the member institutions. These objectives, among others, include strengthening collaborative sharing of innovations, best practices and knowledge solutions, facilitating mobilization and deployment of experts, and boosting partnerships and networks for expanded sharing and dissemination of knowledge on agricultural finance and rural development. As the Chairman, I will accord due focus on the implementation of the action plans for meeting these strategic objectives in a timely, smooth and effective manner. It is my strong conviction that all the goals and objectives as envisioned in the Strategic Plan and activities of APRACA can only be realized by full cooperation among its member institutions.
Finally, I would like to once again express my sincere appreciation to all the APRACA members and partners for their continuous support to the Association in advancing to this stage of great height and recognition. I am looking forward to work closely with the APRACA Secretariat team, member institutions and other partners in executing the activities of the Association.
Nepal Rastra Bank, Kathmandu, Nepal