| Achong Tanjong |
‘ASIA-Pacific Financial Forum (APFF) – Promoting Long Term Role of Insurance and Pensions’ was held yesterday at The Empire Hotel & Country Club in Jerudong.
The first session of the forum, Regulatory, Accounting and Longevity Solution Issues, was presented by Makoto (Mack) Okubo of Nippon Life Insurance Company.
The second session, Long-Term Investment, Infrastructure and Capital Market Issues, was presented by panelists Larry Greenwood of MetLife Insurance KK, Brain Murray of AIA Group and Marius Weehuizen of ING Bank Singapore.
Makoto Okubo in his presentation – Overview of the Work of the APFF Insurance and Retirement Income Work Stream – focused on regulatory issues when promoting long-term investments in Asia-Pacific region while highlighting the importance of regional public-private collaboration.
He said this year, Abac submitted an Interim Report to Apec Financial Ministers, recommending concrete undertakings across the financial sector that can yield tangible results within two or three years. The report was officially endorsed on October 22 in Beijing.
The report was drawn from discussions undertaken by more than 270 senior representatives and experts from 137 major private and public institutions.
The interim report contains 12 action plans, which are clustered around two major issues, however, yesterday, the forum focused on dialogue series on regulation and accounting issues impacting the long-term business of the insurance industry in Asia-Pacific economies and longevity solutions as well as collaboration with Apec Finance Ministers’ Process in promoting long-term investment, including infrastructure.
The APFF region today faces new realities that require a larger role of domestic and regional demand to sustain stronger, balanced and inclusive growth.
The transformation of the economic growth model requires significant increases in domestic consumption supported by robust investment.
It requires efforts to address poverty, environmental issues and the economic impact of aging, building infrastructure and facilitating competitiveness, innovation and growth of small enterprises.
Financial markets and services are critical to this transformation. The region needs deep and liquid capital markets and institutions that provide long-term finance and expand access of households and enterprises to financial services, supported by sound and efficient legal and regulatory frameworks and good governance.
Regional financial integration has an important role to play in achieving these objectives.
Following the Asian crisis, the region’s public sector initiated various undertakings in this direction, which have yielded concrete results and helped our economies weather the impact of the global financial crisis. These undertakings constitute the foundations and building blocks of a more robust, efficient and integrated Asia-Pacific financial architecture.
Accelerating its development in response to our region’s pressing needs, however, requires closer public-private sector collaboration.