Meeting discusses trade integration efforts

Integration efforts must be signified in ASEAN to ensure conducive business ecosystem to facilitate trade, including digital trade, foreign direct investments (FDIs) and private capital, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah.

He made these comments during the 6th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) and Related Meetings via video conference on Friday.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew also highlighted the importance of macroeconomic stimulus in boosting economic activities, increasing employment, keeping companies afloat as well as revitalising trade and investment towards economic recovery post COVID-19. He added that linkages must be deepened among ASEAN member states and beyond.

The series of ministerial meetings started with a joint dialogue between ministers, Central Bank Governors, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, European Union (EU)-ASEAN Business Council and United States (US)-ASEAN Business Council.

Opportunities for the collaboration of public and private sector were discussed, with focus on several areas: Advancing Sustainable Finance in ASEAN; Digital Transformation in Financial Services for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and ASEAN Financial Inclusion Solution.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the conference meeting. PHOTO: MOFE

During their plenary session, the AFMGM commended the progress in ASEAN’s regional financial cooperation under Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN chairmanship themed ‘Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN’. The AFMGM welcomed the developments in the areas of financial integration and liberalisation; trade and investment facilitation; financial, payment and service connectivity; and financing-related matters.

They also recognised that extraordinary measures have been undertaken in mitigating the COVID-19 impacts and towards supporting economic recovery, and thereafter, reaffirmed that solidarity and cooperation are key for ASEAN to overcome the pandemic and restore regional growth.

The AFMGM also exchanged views with the International Monetary Fund, the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office and the Asian Development Bank on the regional and global economic outlook, and on risks, opportunities and policy challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.

Permanent Secretary (Performance and Corporate) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Suraya binti Haji Jaidin, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) Managing Director Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Badar, AMBD Deputy Managing Director (Monetary Operations/Development and International) Hajah Noorrafidah binti Sulaiman, officials from the Division of International Affairs of MoFE and AMBD were also present at the meeting.

The joint statement of the 6th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, adopted by finance ministers and Central Bank governors, is available for download via the ASEAN Secretariat website.