As SWIFT’s chief executive for the Asia-Pacific region, it is a personal pleasure to welcome Sibos back to Singapore.
In the 12 years since Singapore last hosted Sibos, the economic centre of gravity for the world as a whole has been shifting towards this region. Singapore itself has continued to strengthen its position as an international financial centre. The Chinese renminbi (RMB) has also become a major global currency over that time – the world’s fourth most active in global payments by value. SWIFT supports RMB internationalisation through its messaging services and, in 2012, began publishing adoption statistics. According to SWIFT’s monthly RMB tracker, over 1,700 financial institutions worldwide are now using the RMB for payments. SWIFT has engaged in a number of innovative and unique partnerships in Asia Pacific. Our joint venture in India to support the local domestic market (SWIFT India) went live in Q1 2015. Earlier this year, we partnered with the Australian community to begin building Australia’s New Payments Platform. Corporate take up of SWIFT has continued to expand across the Asia Pacific region
Sibos in Singapore will not only bring our global community to Asia; it will bring Asia to our global community.
According to the OECD, the widespread economic growth expected over the period to 2030 will be associated with rapid growth in trade – especially within Asia and between the major regions. The North Pacific route will surpass the North Atlantic as the world’s busiest trading corridor in terms of freight volume. The Indian Ocean corridor will see large growth, with freight volume quadrupling.
ASEAN countries meanwhile have embarked on a journey towards a fully integrated regional economy: the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, member-states of ASEAN have continued on an uninterrupted growth path. Financial integration, built on international standards and a common platform, is likely to accelerate the pace of growth. Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines are all utilising SWIFT and international standards in domestic systems to clear and settle payments. Thursday at Sibos has been designated as ASEAN day, providing an opportunity for discussion and reflection on the growing economic significance of the region. Sibos in Singapore will not only bring our global community to Asia; it will bring Asia to our global community.
By now many of you know what to expect from Sibos and how to make the most of your time here. I would encourage those attending for the first time to explore the full richness of the event: the different streams and forums, the largest financial services exhibition on the planet, not to mention the unparalleled networking opportunities. Don’t hesitate to ask anyone with a SWIFT badge for help!