Tokyo: Finance ministers and central bank governors from ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea on Monday pledged to boost regional financial cooperation while providing continued support to countries hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement issued after a hypothetical meeting on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the ministers pledged to achieve a comprehensive recovery, maintain long-term financial sustainability and maintain financial stability.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said responses to the coronavirus crisis, universal health coverage, climate change, high-quality infrastructure, debt transparency and sustainability in emerging Asia will top the agenda of the ADB meetings.Pixel).
“We expect a recovery in 2021 as the recovery gains momentum and the launch of the vaccine allows the gradual opening up of our economies,” the statement said. “The recovery appears to be uneven across and within countries, and is subject to potential increased risks including the spread of new variants and different steps of vaccination.”
China, Japan and South Korea said they would explore “new initiatives” to strengthen the regional financial safety net in a hypothetical meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Fiscal heads pledged to use all policy tools to ensure sustainable economic recovery and gradual normalization of expansionary policy while mitigating the risks of a financial downturn.
Aso told reporters that it is important that the regional financial leaders “reaffirmed the importance of financial cooperation.”
At their last virtual meeting in September, the finance chiefs from Japan, South Korea, China and ASEAN, a group known as ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN + 3), promised to promote the Chiang Mai Multilateral Initiative (CMIM).
CMIM plays a critical role in supporting regional financial stability by allowing member economies, which include ASEAN + 3 and Hong Kong, to take advantage of currency swap lines to secure needy currencies.
Regional financial leaders also affirmed their commitment to support open, rules-based multilateral trade and investment in the region. Reuters