Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has arrived Dhaka on Monday in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
The flight carrying her landed at the Shahjalal International Airport around 8am.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman received the Queen, a foreign ministry spokesperson told bdnews24.com.
The UNDP says she would be here on a three-day visit at the invitation of Bangladesh government.
It is part of her global efforts to raise awareness and foster action towards financial inclusion for everyone. She was appointed to this UN position in 2009.
The special advocate campaigns for advancing the financial inclusion agenda, focusing in particular on financially excluded people and small businesses.
Queen Máxima has also been the honorary patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2011.
The visit will focus on “various priorities” including the strengthening of the microfinance sector in Bangladesh, and advancing mobile financial services for financially excluded populations and SMEs.
The queen is scheduled to have meetings with President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, and Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman.
She will also interact with senior officials of the Bangladesh government, development partners, members of civil society and the private sector.
In addition, the UN special advocate will visit several locations outside Dhaka to explore the experiences and needs of low-income customers such as garment workers who are paid digitally.
She will meet a female entrepreneur who has built her business with the help of financial services, and with clients and staff of banking agents and mobile money operations.
Queen Máxima will also be meeting with representatives of the banking and microfinance sectors.
The UN says access to financial services is an important tool to reduce poverty, boost economic development, empower women and achieve development goals as acknowledged in the recently adopted 2030 sustainable development agenda.