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Citi-FT Financial Education Summit 2008 Reinforces Importance of Financial Literacy in Volatile Economic Times


More than 200 Delegates from around the World Participate in the Largest Summit of its Kind ever Held in China.

Beijing – At the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit 2008 held in Beijing, China today, more than 200 delegates from around the world gathered to discuss the increasing need for financial literacy and the role it can and should play in reducing financial vulnerability especially in turbulent times. Keynote speakers at the event include Madame Wu Xiaoling, Vice Chairwoman, Financial and Economics Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress and Chairwoman, China Foundation for the Development of Financial Education; Li Fu’an, Director General, Financial Innovation Department, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC); and Zhu Limin, Director General, Investor Education Office and Head of Regional Bureau Coordination Department, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Summit attendees, comprising representatives from the private, government, academic and non-profit sectors, are sharing examples of programs that teach people the fundamentals of good money management through topics such as credit, saving, investing, insurance, household budgeting and financial planning. Target groups under discussion include youth, mainstream consumers, investors, and marginalized communities.

“The unfolding of the current global financial crisis highlights more than ever the critical role of financial literacy in wise decision-making, protecting wealth and achieving financial well-being, especially for disadvantaged and low-income groups. It is imperative that corporations, policy makers, practitioners and advocates collaborate closely to enhance the economic security of individuals across all age groups, backgrounds and income levels. Leading this financial education summit for the fifth consecutive year underscores Citi’s commitment to financial education regionally and globally.” said Andrew Au, CEO of Citi China and Chairman of Citibank (China) Co., Ltd.

“Financial literacy is increasingly recognized as a life skill that is needed in every region, at all levels of society and at all times, good or bad,” said Mark Nieker, President of the Pearson Foundation. “Education is a core issue for Pearson and our goal for this Summit, in collaboration with Citi and the Financial Times, is to realize the potential and reinforce the impact of financial education to alleviate poverty, stimulate entrepreneurship, and boost wealth creation.”

The conference will also include a look at China, and highlights the roadmap for financial literacy among Chinese consumers. It will discuss how financial education efforts should be prioritized in China given the size and scale of the country and its vast need for financial education. Experts will recommend the types of strategies, collaborations, and core initiatives that are needed to raise China’s financial literacy levels and support its economic growth in the coming decades.

Madame Wu Xiaoling, Vice Chairwoman, Financial and Economics Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress and Chairwoman of the China Foundation for the Development of Financial Education, noted, “Several financial education initiatives are underway in China, but they are relatively new and are not reaching enough people. We need to work closely to design the best possible financial literacy framework, make this accessible and practical for everybody, and hence help Chinese consumers to make more informed financial decisions, and increase their financial independence and well-being.”


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