In 2018, financial services leaders from around the globe assembled to announce a new strategic initiative: The World Alliance of International Financial Centers. WAIFC is an international non-profit association, which represents leading global financial centers and facilitates cooperation and the exchange of best practices.
In the context of the present uncertainties, with the consequences of the coronavirus and the slowing down of economic growth all around the world, financial centers must play an even more essential role to accompany a necessary recovery and the orientation of the economies towards sustainable development and the satisfaction of the economic needs.
Together with WAIFC member Casablanca Finance City, WAIFC has published a report in collaboration with Oxford Business Group on “the role of financial centers in driving economic growth,” which highlights the breadth and diversity of financial centers’ activities in financing their real economies.
Eleven financial centers have contributed to the report with their showcases:
- Abu Dhabi Global Market
- Astana International Financial Center
- Belgian Finance Center
- Busan International Financial Center
- Casablanca Finance City
- Frankfurt Main Finance
- Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council
- Luxembourg for Finance
- Paris Europlace
- Toronto Finance International
The financial industry undergoes a process of structural change. Nowadays, the priority actions of our members concern environmental finance, technological innovation and infrastructure, as well as social and territorial financing. International financial centers are more reliant on technology, and our members have been driving innovations in the financial industry by supporting the adoption of innovative technologies from cloud computing and blockchain to artificial intelligence and big data. Also, our members are increasingly promoting all segments of sustainable finance and strive to ensure that environmental and social considerations are adequately taken into account and integrated into the financial sector moving forward. The new report provides an overview of those activities. It is available for free download at https://frankfurt-main-finance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/WAIFC-role-of-financial-centres.pdf.
Arnaud de Bresson, Chairman of the WAIFC Board of Directors and CEO of Paris Europlace, says: “The WAIFC was created to foster collaboration among international financial centers and to build up a global network. It aims to accelerate the dialogue and exchange of best practices among them and develop communication with the general public. Our core objective is that finance should not be self-centered but rather serve the real economy all around the world. We are committed to supporting global economic transformations, fostering the combination of public and private funding, and contributing to meet the sustainable development goals all around the world.”
Said Ibrahimi, Member of the WAIFC Board of Directors and CEO of Casablanca Finance City, says: “As a founding member of the WAIFC as well as the first financial center in Africa to join the alliance, CFC is proud to contribute an African perspective that showcases the level of international cooperation in its undertakings on the continent. We strongly believe in Africa’s potential, and the pivotal role global financial centers play in driving growth and contributing to socio-economic development. We aspire through this report to make these benefits known beyond the world of finance.”
Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director of the WAIFC, says: “Financial centers are vital to sustaining economic growth. They provide the infrastructure for investment that drives entrepreneurial endeavors and economic growth across industries and communities and increasingly contribute to sustainable development and financial literacy. Our members embrace innovation and actively drive developments in that space. They provide fertile ground for start-ups with new ideas and innovative business models. The diversity of WAIFC members is an important strength.”
Hubertus Väth, Member of the WAIFC Board of Directors and managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, says: “Frankfurt Main Finance is proud to be a co-founder of the WAIFC network. Especially in times when the financial industry is facing enormous challenges, it becomes clear that solutions in an interconnected world can often only be found through international cooperation. This applies in particular to the financial sector. The financial center Frankfurt, in the heart of Europe, is a natural partner in such a cooperation.”
The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) is a non-profit association registered in Belgium, representing 16 leading international financial centers of four continents. WAIFC members are city governments, associations, and similar institutions developing and promoting their financial centers.
In an era of breakthrough technologies and rapid social change, financial centers are crucial to sustaining economic growth. Thus, the objective of the WAIFC is to create a transparent network that facilitates cooperation and sharing of best practices to further the understanding of the importance of international financial centers for national and global economies as well as social development.