Focus on post COVID-19 economic outlook

James Kon

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 attended the 23rd ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM+3) via video conference on Friday.

Also present at the meeting was Managing Director of the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Badar.

The AFMGM+3 is a ministerial level platform where representatives from ASEAN member states, People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea discuss ways to strengthen regional financial cooperation.

The ASEAN Plus Three Head of Delegations exchanged views on the global and regional economic developments and outlooks as well as policy responses to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The President of the Asian Development Bank, the Director of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and the Director of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific of the International Monetary Fund also shared their perspectives during the Economic Review and Policy Discussions segment of the meeting.

The ASEAN Plus Three Head of Delegations also reviewed the ongoing ASEAN Plus Three financial cooperation, including the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), Asian Bond Market Initiative (ABMI) and the strategic directions of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation. Among others, they welcomed the continuous improvements of the CMIM, including to enhance its operational readiness and relevance, and the progress made on ABMI that aims to encourage the development of local currency bond markets to address currency and maturity mismatches and to mobilise the region’s savings to finance long-term investment across the region.

On the discussions related to the future of the ASEAN Plus Three financial cooperation, the heads of delegation welcomed the establishment of five study groups to explore potential areas for new initiatives on ‘Local Currency Usage Promotion in ASEAN+3’, ‘Infrastructure Financing’, ‘Instruments for Macro-critical Structural Issues’, ‘Strengthening Financial Resilience against Climate and Natural Disasters’ and ‘Enhancing Policy Coordination to Harness Benefit of Technological Advancements While Minimising Risks’.

In his intervention, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew welcomed the ongoing cooperation among the ASEAN Plus Three countries to strengthen the region’s financial resiliency and stability, and called for enhanced collaboration in fostering conducive environment to reinvigorate business and trade activities. Recognising the importance of technology and digitalisation as enablers for economic recovery and growth, the minister further encouraged officials to explore regional initiatives that enable ASEAN Plus Three countries to harness technological benefits.

The Joint Statement of the 23rd AFMGM+3, adopted by the Head of Delegations, is available for download via the ASEAN Secretariat website.

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