Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID)

New York

15 June 2017 to 16 June 2017


This last Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID), held at the United Nations Headquarters on 15 and 16 June 2017, marks a decade of successful forums.

The Forum brought together key decision makers from member states, the private sector and the civil society, involved in the field of migration and remittances for development. The Forum saw the participation of over 350 participants, gather to share lessons learned and best practices on innovative business models, to stimulate long-lasting partnerships, and to raise awareness towards the creation of a more enabling market, particularly in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.  

Acknowledged by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and by Louise Arbour, UN Secretary General's Special Representative for International Migration, the GFRID is now seen as a key platform to raise awareness and promote models and mechanisms aimed at leveraging the impact of migration and remittances for development.

Organized by IFAD in collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Department Of Economic And Social Affairs (UN-DESA), the Forum coincided with the celebration of the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on 16 June, in recognition of the fundamental contribution of migrants to the wellbeing of their families and communities back home.

The event provided a substantial contribution to the global debate on remittances and migrant investment, pursuing efforts to significantly decrease transfer costs, maximize their impact for development, and ultimately contribute to achieving the SDGs. The Forum conclusions would also feed the current process towards the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018.


Organization of work

Thursday, 15 June 2017                                                                   



Session I:  Sending money home: The landscape going forward   


10:00 – 10:40 Plenary I. Opening


Welcoming remarks from the organizers
Outlining opportunities for collaboration with the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Adolfo Brizzi, Director, Policy and Technical Advisory Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

  • John Wilmoth, Director, Population Division United Nations-Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)       

  • Massimo Cirasino, Global Lead for Payment and Market Infrastructures, Finance and Markets Global Practice, The World Bank   


Keynote address from the Co-Chairmanship of 2017-2018 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 

  • Götz Schmidt-Bremme, Ambassador for the 2017-2018 GFMD, Co-Chairmanship, German Federal Foreign Affairs


10:40 – 11:30 Plenary II. Migrants’ contribution to development


Migrants sustain their home communities in many ways, notably through their financial contributions (remittances to their families and/or direct investment in local communities), and their entrepreneurial skills when they return home. These contributions present both opportunities and challenges for all involved: market players, governments, the migrants themselves and their families.
This panel will provide an overview of the contributions and trends to date and will set the Forum stage by highlighting key elements: (i) migrant workers’ contributions through remittances and investments; and (ii) development opportunities. 
This panel will also outline the Forum's two parallel tracks on (i) remittances and (ii) migrant investment.

Sending Money Home: Migrant workers’ contributions back home

  • Pedro de Vasconcelos, Manager, Financing Facility for Remittances, Policy and Technical Advisory Division, IFAD 


Remittance Markets 2017

  • Leon Isaacs, Chief Executive Officer, Developing Markets Associates Ltd. (DMA)

Format: Individual presentations and Q&A


12:00 – 13:00

Session II:  Enabling innovation – Inclusive business models for remittances and migrant investment



Panel I A – Established market providers: Adapting to the future
Room 1



Panel I B – Diaspora investors and mechanisms
Room 2



Having developed successful businesses, traditional cash-based remittance companies now face new opportunities and challenges. Leading industry players will analyze the last decade of activities, sharing their vision on future developments and how to reach meaningful scale. This panel will showcase high-impact and time-tested remittance business models, and effective collaboration among stakeholders in lowering costs and improving access to both financial and non-financial services.


  • Juan C. Bianchi, President and CEO, RIA Financial Services

  • Hikmet Ersek, CEO and Director, Western Union

  • Alex Holmes, CEO, MoneyGram

  • Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty, Executive Director and President, UAE Exchange 



  • Massimo Cirasino, Global Lead for Payment and Market Infrastructures, Finance and Markets Global Practice, World Bank 

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A


While migrant investment has demonstrated considerable potential for supporting economic growth back home, it is still hampered by a lack of appropriate financial instruments and information. This panel will highlight some ongoing initiatives aimed at facilitating diaspora investment, and will discuss challenges and further opportunities in meeting diaspora investment needs. 


  • Nicholas Bassey, Division Chief, Center for Transformational Partnerships, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID 

  • Marion Jezequel, Chief Executive Officer, Babyloan

  • Daniel González, Program Officer, Open Society Institute



  • Yohannes Assefa, Director, Stalwart, Knowledge, Innovation and Technology 

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A



14:30 – 15:30


Panel II A – The regulatory framework:  Current status and future prospects
Room 1




Panel II B – Expanding opportunities and instruments for diaspora investment
Room 2



Regulatory frameworks aim at balancing the need for a secure, level-playing field; in allowing competition and innovation, this outcome is not always achieved. This panel will address recent developments in the areas of competition, transparency, and de-risking, including good practices, models and prospects from regulatory authorities.



  • Lauren Girard, Global Head of TS Global Financial Crimes Compliance Team, JP Morgan

  • Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa, Bank Negara Malaysia

  • Jody Myers, Vice President, BSA/AML Risk Assessment, Western Union 

  • Sarah Runge, Director, Office of Strategic Policy for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury 



  • Louis De Koker, Chair in Law, Deakin University

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A


This panel will explore challenges and opportunities in promoting and supporting diaspora investment mechanisms. The panel will bring perspectives from financiers and civil society stakeholders on ways and roles towards nurturing, enhancing and mainstreaming this growing market. The panel will also address innovative or impact-investing mechanisms that could be adapted to respond to diaspora investment needs.


  • Justin Sykes, Managing Director, Innovest Advisory, Social Impact through Innovation

  • Eric V. Guichard, CEO, Movement Capital Ltd - Homestrings 

  • Shesh Ghale, President, Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA)



  • Lee Sorensen, Development and impact investment senior expert: fragile contexts and international development 

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A


Session III:  Achieving scale in an evolving remittance market



Panel I A – Innovative strategies 
Room 1



Panel I B – Technology business models 
Room 2



Reaching scale and driving down prices in money transfers requires new partnerships, harnessing technology and other innovations. This panel will bring together different sectors (MTOs, banks, postal networks, and formal financial institutions) to identify how the money transfer ecosystem will influence the marketplace in the near future.


  • Catherine Flouvat, Strategy & Development Orange Africa & Middle-East - Head of digital inclusion services, Orange Mobile Money

  • Samuel Koroma, Managing Director, SalPost, Sierra Leone

  • Kiril Palchum, CEO, Unistream Bank 



  • Kai Schmitz, Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A


The remittance ecosystem in 2017 showcases models that go beyond “cash-to-cash,” using innovative tools and mechanisms for remittance-end customers. The panel will discuss new, inclusive,
and disruptive approaches, such as e-wallets, social network payment models, and co


  • Khurram Malik, CEO, ValYou

  • Kristo Käärmann, CEO, TransferWise

  • Eugenio Nigro, Head of remittances Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa, PayPal



  • Marco Nicolì, Remittances Specialist, Finance and Markets Global Practice, The World Bank

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A


16:45 – 17:45



Plenary II. Financial inclusion through remittances: Opportunities hidden in plain sight



Financial inclusion is widely recognized as the foremost mechanism for leveraging the impact of remittances and investments toward reaching a range of development goals. This panel will discuss good practices and challenges in achieving a concerted approach within and across sectors that will unleash the potential of remittances towards universal financial access.


  • Manuel Orozco, Senior Director, Inter-American Dialogue 

  • Allan M. Waititu, Director, Special Projects, Equity Group Holdings Limited - Equity Bank 

  • Marc Hollanders, Special Adviser on Financial Infrastructure, Bank of International Settlements

  • Shari Spiegel, Chief, Policy Analysis and Development Branch, Financing for Development Office, UNDESA



  • Henri Dommel, Director, Inclusive Finance Practice Area, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) 

Format: Panel discussion and Q&A

17:45-18:00 The RemTech Awards


The GFRID hosts the RemTech Awards, developed by Mohr World Consulting and the International Money Transfer Conferences (IMTC) to showcase the most innovative and outstanding ideas designed to improve remittance services worldwide. This presentation of the 2017 winners will spotlight companies, groups, collectives, or individuals whose ground-breaking solutions are improving transparency, speed, cost, and reliability for companies and end-users sending and receiving remittances every day.

  • Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, Director, IMTC

Friday, 16 June 2017                                                                        



Session I: International Day of Family Remittances     


Tribute to migrants and their families


The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), celebrated on 16 June, is aimed at recognizing the significant financial contribution migrant workers make to the wellbeing of their families back home and to the sustainable development of their countries of origin. It is also aimed at encouraging the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, to do more and collaborate to maximize the impact of these funds in the developing world. 

  • António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (TBC)

  • High level dignitary - Canada (TBD) / High level dignitary - Portugal (TBD)

  • Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, President of IFAD

  • Voices and views of migrants and their families (representatives TBC)




Panel I. Sending Money Home: Migration and development




The contributions migrants and migration make to sustainable development have become increasingly evident in recent years, and were recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include several migration-related targets, which seek to reduce the costs of migration and increase its positive impact. Furthermore, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) provides concrete ways to 'make migration work for development'. This panel will discuss the prospects for achieving the SDGs and how migrant workers can contribute, and ways and means to implement the AAAA’s migration-related commitments.

Integrating migration into national development planning 

  • William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)


Making migration work for development: The contribution of the European Commission 

  • Stefano Manservisi, Director-General DEVCO, European Commission


Financing migration-related commitments in the 2030 Agenda

  • Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Senior Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice, The World Bank


Addressing migration in the 2030 Agenda

  • Daniela Morari, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Republic of Moldova 



  • James Cockayne, Head of Office at the UN, United Nations University (UNU), 2017 Chair of the Global Migration Group (GMG)

Format: Panel discussion 




Panel II.The financial contribution of migrants, diaspora groups and refugees to development



The panel will showcase factual findings on how migrant workers’ remittances and investments contribute to their countries of origin. Panelists will also highlight examples of the role migrant and refugee communities play in the stability, reconstruction, and economic development of their countries of origin.

Migrants and economic needs abroad

  • Kingsley Aikins, CEO, Diaspora Matters 


The contribution of migrants, refugees and diaspora for the development of their communities: Facts and figures 

  • Dilip Ratha, Senior economist, The World Bank


Bridging humanitarian action and sustainable development: The role of migrants and refugees

  • Khalida Bouzar, Director, Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, IFAD 


Financial needs of migrants and refugees

  • Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General for Global Issues, Sector Policies and Programmes, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, Presidency of the G20



  • Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations

Format: Individual presentations and Q&A 


15:00 – 15:15 Session II: The Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact on Migration                         


The presentation will report on discussions held on 15 June and will introduce the process following the New York Declaration for     Refugees and Migrants, and the negotiations towards the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. 

GFRID2017 - Contributing to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration

  •  Bela Hovy, Chief, Migration Section, Population Division, UN-DESA




Panel I.  What role do migrants’ contributions play? 



The panel will bring to light migrant workers’ multifaceted contributions to development. This panel will discuss on concrete ways whereby governments can promote an enabling environment, and partner with private and civil society and other stakeholders to make migration work for development. 


  • Oscar Chacón, Executive Director, Alianza Américas 

  • Estrella Mai Dizon-Añonuevo, Executive Director, Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative Inc. 

  • Lee Sorensen, Development and impact investment senior expert: fragile contexts and international development 

  • Amadou Cisse, Executive Director, African Institute for Remittances



  • Juan José Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations 

Format: Individual presentations and Member States engagement and interaction


16:30-17:30 Panel II. Private sector engagement: A driving force to reach scale


The international community has recently called for a more concerted effort to bring together government policy makers and regulators, and financial and technology industry representatives, to increase access to financial services, and foster competition in the remittance and diaspora investment markets. This panel will bring together prominent private sector stakeholders, and will showcase current market opportunities and challenges in support of the SDGs. 


  • Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA (TBC)

  • Ian Radcliffe, Director, World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)

  • Mohit Davar, International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN)

  • Stefano Signore, Head of Unit Migration, Employment and Inequalities, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission



  • Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations

Format: Individual presentations and Member States engagement and interaction



Regional opportunities and future of the Forum 

  • Dato Muhammad Bin Ibrahim, Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia


17:45 – 18:00


Conclusions and the way forward



Towards the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

  • Louise Arbour, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative for International Migration



Concluding remarks

  •     IFAD