On Friday Heng Swee Keat (Singapore's minister for finance) in his starting report for a meeting with finance ministers from Southeast Asian countries, underlined the government's objects to develop innovations such as blockchain to improve access to finance in the region.
In particular, we will support digital innovations like fintech. For example, the underlying distributed ledger technology presents us with many opportunities for cheap and secure transactions. This can promote financial inclusion for underserved and underbanked segments in ASEAN.
Heng Swee Keat, the Minister for Finance, Singapore.
Though the minister did not reveal the details on any blockchain decisions, his remarks come at the same time when the governments in Southeast Asia have been directing efforts to expand and adopt blockchain technology in the financial sphere. Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has begun a blockchain contest with government funds to boost blockchain innovation in the country.
Also, the neighboring state of Malaysia is stepping to accept blockchain technology to improve banking services in the region. The deputy governor of Malaysia's central bank in his speech in March pointed out that nine banks in the country have already started working with the central bank in enforcing blockchain powered applications for trade finance.
Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank is as well constructing out a Ripple-based blockchain money order platform for cross border payments.