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ABOUT CAM

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China Association of Microfinance

The China Association of Microfinance (hereinafter referred to as CAM) is the first national member-based association in microfinance sector in China, and its legal entity is Microcredit Development Research Branch of China County and Township Economic Exchange Promotion Association (hereinafter referred to as CCTEEPA), which is the second-tier branch of CCTEEPA. CCTEEPA was established in 1992, which is a national civil society organization approved and registered by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (hereinafter referred to as MOCA) of the People’s Republic of China and has the independent legal personality. CCTEEPA is sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (hereinafter referred to as CASS) and is run by the Rural Development Institute (hereinafter referred to as RDI) of CASS.

As an effective method for poverty alleviation and a financial innovation, microfinance has experienced ten-year process of experimentation, demonstration and expansion. As we know, most of the very first domestic MFIs engaging in microfinance experiments are those non-government organizations (hereinafter referred to as NGOs) or non-profit organizations (hereinafter referred to as NPOs), relying on the aid from international institutions or the support from the local governments. Although these MFIs have played an active role in facilitating the development of microfinance in China and made a great contribution for poverty alleviation, they can hardly achieve sustainability owing to the restriction by policy and law, the constraint about their own system and capability, and the insufficiency of fund sources etc. We believe that microfinance, as an effective measure for poverty reduction, is unable to realize its sustainable development and exert its lasting function until it is included in the whole framework of financial reform and development of China.

In the domestic microfinance workshops during the early 2000, some researchers and practitioners of microfinance put forward a suggestion to set up a guild or a network for many times, the voice of which was higher especially in the international workshop of microfinance held in Beijing in September of 2003. The relevant domestic departments and international organizations attached importance to this suggestion, subsequently, UNDP assisted the People’s Bank of China (hereinafter referred to as PBC) to complete microfinance policy research report, in which the supervisory policy pertaining to microfinance guild was raised, which advised the guild to conduct self-discipline and the government to offer certain policy guidance. At the end of 2003, in order to accommodate the development needs of microfinance and with reference to the advice in the policy research report of PBC, Rural Development Institute (hereinafter referred to as RDI) of China Academy of Social Sciences (hereinafter referred to as CASS) that was the earliest one to undertake microfinance experimentation, demonstration and research in China, and China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (hereinafter referred to as CICETE) that governed foreign-aid microfinance program with the largest scale in China, decided to initiate the formation of microfinance guild or network in China, and later obtained strong support from Development Department of All-China Women Federation (hereinafter referred to as ACWF). After requesting the opinion of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, RDI of CASS, CICETE and ACWF, with the fund support of Citi, jointly set up the CAM in November, 2005.

At the general assembly of CAM held on September 17, 2010, all the members present reached a consensus on the Chinese name change of CAM. At the early stage, CAM’s members mainly comprised public-interest microfinance institutions for poverty alleviation. With the development of microfinance in China, CAM has gradually absorbed financial institutions involving in microfinance business, such as commercial banks and microfinance companies. As of December 31, 2017, there were 146 formal members, covering 26 provinces and cities across the country.

Since its setup, CAM has maintained a close relationship and cooperation with policy and regulatory departments like PBC and China Banking Regulatory Commission (hereinafter referred to as CBRC), and undertaken lots of activities in the fields of policy advocacy, self-regulation, training and technical assistance, information exchanges and fundraising services, serving its members in an effective way. CAM has introduced and promoted the concept of inclusive finance, which has been written in the resolution of the third plenary session of 18th Central Committee of CPC and also become the focus of the State Council in the field of financial reform. CAM advocates for the practice in rural finance and supports the development of public-interest microfinance institutions, being recognized by all the parties. CAM took a lead to set up a self-discipline committee of P2P and has a wide influence in the field of microfinance and inclusive finance. With the support of Citi Network Strengthening Program, the governance structure and service level of CAM have been improved. The annual conference and Global Microentrepreneurship Award held by CAM every year have been regarded as significant events in China’s microfinance sector and also been marked as the brand events of CAM.

Under the background of globalization, CAM defines microcredit as credit services provided to the poor and low-income people and microenterprises and then expands the definition of microcredit services to microfinance field including savings, money transfer and insurance by referring to the international microfinance development and rule. While focusing on the financial services targeting the lower-end population, CAM also actively promotes the construction of inclusive financial sectors offering complete financial services to all levels of people and strives to include microfinance into inclusive financial sectors.

Vision of CAM

To become a representative and sustainable association providing high-quality services to its member institutions and the microfinance industry in China.

Mission of CAM

To offer financial services to financially under-serviced groups (especially the poor and low-income populations) to satisfy their demand and to promote the building of an inclusive financial system and the establishment of a harmonious and happy society through providing services and support to its member institutions and enhancing the outreach and sustainability of MFIs as well as the overall capacity and level of the industry.

Functions of CAM

Policy Advocacy: To promote the improvement of financial policy and regulatory framework in favor of microfinance and financial inclusion by the way of policy advice and reporting communication.

Research & Development: To provide reference advice for the introduction of industry policies and guide the industry to achieve healthy and sustainable development by the way of industry research and project development.

Self-Regulation: To realize self-regulation and promote the openness, transparency and standardization of financial and social performance indicators by disseminating industrial standards and undertaking assessment and rating.

Training & Investigation: To provide demand-driven training and investigation programs to its members and the whole industry so as to improve the management and operation capacity of MFIs.

Information Exchanges: To set up the website of China’s microfinance gateway, publish publications and collections, organize annual conferences, seminars and salons so as to facilitate international and domestic information exchanges within and outside the industry.

Consulting Services:  To offer customized services for its members based on their specific needs so as to help its members achieve sustainable development.