APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting seeks sustainable rural development

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation’s (APEC) Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting has continued the second day of the two-day agenda with discussions on financial inclusion and other concerned business issues.

Regarding financial inclusion, the meeting focussed on sharing experiences in supporting sustainable agricultural and rural development, making policy recommendations, comprehensive financial inclusion measures, including policies on credit support, financial services, application of new financial technologies, risk insurance, and financial literacy.

“We are all facing a common economy with slow growth, sluggish trade, and low investment. Concerns over globalisation and protectionism are growing in a number of regions. Uncertainty may be the most accurate word to describe the current general situation,” said the Senior Officials’ Meeting Chair, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

“Amid existing difficulties, the strengthening of APEC is more necessary than ever. This is not the time to annul commitments, withdraw or accept protectionism. This is the very time for APEC to show its vitality, dynamism, adaptability, and responsibility,” Son said.

In addition, the APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting has received the report from the Chair of the APEC Economic Committee on the committee’s activities and opportunities for collaboration with Finance Ministers’ Process; Australia’s update report on the Asian Regional Fund Passport (ARFP) initiative, and ABAC’s report on its activities.

The major outcomes of the discussions of the two-day Meeting of the Finance and Central Bank Deputies include:

(i) Finance and Central Bank Deputies discussed recent economic and financial developments and outlook in the APEC region in order to identify appropriate policy responses for APEC economies to cope with global economic volatilities;

(ii) Finance and Central Bank Deputies discussed cooperation priorities for the 2017 APEC FMP and their implementation plans;

(iii) Finance and Central Bank Deputies discussed and agreed upon the implantation plans on the 4 priority policy themes. The themes are: (i) Long-term financing for infrastructure; (ii) Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS); (iii) Disaster risk financing and insurance; and (iv) Financial inclusion;

(iv) Finance and Central Bank Deputies discussed and agreed on the implementation and review of the Cebu Action Plan and the reforms of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process;

(v) Finance and Central Bank Deputies agreed that financial co-operation among APEC members should pay more focus on practical and efficient activities besides meetings and seminars; and

(vi) Finance and Central Bank Deputies tasked APEC senior finance officials to meet, tentatively in May 2017.

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By Thanh Tung