SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

The Netherlands

Queen Máxima on visit to Colombia for financial inclusion


Queen Máxima began a four-day visit to Colombia on Sunday, focusing on financial health and innovation as she continues her work with the United Nations.

Queen Máxima has been the UN’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development since 2009.

The Dutch queen has made financial inclusion a cornerstone of her royal work, and this visit to Colombia is billed as one that will “strengthen financial health nationwide, emphasizing traditionally underserved groups like the poor, women, smallholder farmers, small businesses, and the rural,” according to the UN Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development website.

Her first stop is Medellin, which she visited on Sunday and Monday, to meet with digital financial producers to see how they work for key target groups.

On Monday, Queen Máxima visited with fintech Avista, Cooperative Financiera de Antioquia, and a farm supported by SiembraVivia and Finaktiva. According to the UNSGSA website, these visits helped show how retirees can access money to start businesses, how local authorities can come together to provide economic support to women and small businesses, and how financing can come together for farms, respectively.

The UNSGSA website states: “Field visits are key to understanding the variety of financial services available, including innovative tech finance and local cooperatives. These insights are crucial, as they will inform broader conversations about financial policies that Queen Máxima will have with national leaders during her visit.”

In Colombia, 60% of adults have bank accounts, though these numbers are lower for disadvantaged groups. The number is higher overall than in 2011, when only 39% of adults had bank accounts.

The rest of Queen Máxima’s Colombian visit will take place in Bogota, to talk about financial inclusion and financial health. These will include meetings with President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez, as well as senior government officials and financial sector leaders.

On the final day of her visit, she will attend a fintech conference to discuss customising financial products.  

The UNSGSA website says that Queen Máxima will “underscore the progress Colombia has made over the last decade in broadening access to financial services for people” as well as discuss ways to broaden open finance and access to financial tools and services, and ways to measure financial health.

Queen Máxima last visited Colombia in her role as UN Special Advocate in 2014.

"; n.innerHTML = "window._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode:'thumbnails-a', container:'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement:'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix'});"; insertAfter(t, e); insertAfter(n, t) }injectWidgetByMarker('tbmarker');

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.