Commonwealth meeting talks debt sustainability, COVID recovery

Rokiah Mahmud

Strengthening fiscal sustainability is an important objective especially when global recovery is still fragile.

In this regard, the Commonwealth Secretariat proposal to develop a tool to analysis debt sustainability is deeply appreciated, as it complements well with existing toolkits and will provide a good platform to aid member countries in assessing their debt sustainability.

The matter was stated by Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman at the virtual Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meeting (CFMM) on October 12.

Also present was Permanent Secretary (Policy and Fiscal) Hajah Norliah binti Haji Kula along with officials from Ministry of Finance and Economy.

At the meeting, the deputy minister also contributed to the discussion on sustainability and economic recovery.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Fiscal) Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman.

He added that, the role of technology is important in efforts to enhance fiscal sustainability in building long-term resilience and reduce the severity of the impacts of future shocks.

“In the context of fiscal space, technology can help improve planning on future spending in areas that will make the biggest socio-economic and development impacts. By doing so, more scarce resources can be allocated to productive investments which can further strengthen overall recovery efforts.

“At the regional level, ASEAN’s coordinated and holistic responses towards recovery are guided by the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

“This framework sets out several initiatives that cut across different sectors that aim to secure a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable recovery in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and beyond.

“Vaccination is still crucial to accelerate recovery, and therefore, providing equitable access to affordable, safe and quality COVID-19 vaccines is imperative in the fight against the pandemic.”

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Corporate Governance and Public-Private Partnerships, Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and attended by the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland QC, Finance ministers and representatives from Commonwealth States.