ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting opens in Singapore

Friday, 2018-04-06 10:39:13
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Scene at the 22nd ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting in Singapore (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The ASEAN Finance Ministers began their 22nd meeting in Singapore on April 6.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, ASEAN+3 and the Macroeconomic Research Office.

The Vietnamese delegation at the event was led by Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha.

Chairing the function, Singaporean Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the ministers are meeting at a time of optimism for the regional economies during his opening remarks.

He quoted the International Monetary Fund data which shows that the ASEAN economy grew by 5.1% in 2017 and is expected to outstrip most other regions in 2018.

However, the minister warned that the region is still facing challenges, including rising protectionism and trade tensions, which without good management can affect the bloc’s growth.

He said in that context, Singapore, as ASEAN chair this year, is committed to working with the other member countries to boost regional trade and investment, particularly in financing infrastructure projects that connect economies in the region.

The participating ministers were updated on the progress of the implementation of initiatives on ASEAN financial connectivity, including those on capital market liberation, infrastructure financing, customs cooperation, and the prevention of money laundering, among others.

The outcomes of ASEAN+3 financial cooperation initiatives such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation and Asian Bond Markets Initiative were also tabled.

The ministers are expected to discuss the priorities set for this year as proposed by Singapore.