On October 2, 2020, at the International Meeting Center, 11 Le Hong Phong, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, the 6th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (hereinafter referred to as AFMGM) was hold in virtual format. This is the most important meeting in a series of ASEAN financial-banking cooperation events chaired by Viet Nam in 2020.
6th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM)
Hanoi, October 2, 2020
Attending the meeting, in addition to the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the ASEAN countries, there were also the ASEAN Secretary-General, the President of Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Regional Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Director of the ASEAN + 3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung and Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Le Minh Hung co-chaired the Meeting.
At the meeting, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of ASEAN countries and leaders of international financial institutions discussed the global and regional macroeconomic situation, COVID-19 epidemic as well as measures to support economic recovery after the epidemic. The Ministers and Governor also considered cooperation initiatives within the framework of the ASEAN financial - banking cooperation process.
Global and regional economic outlook
Discussing the prospects for global and regional economic development, Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors and leaders of international financial institutions exchanged views on risks and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the global and regional economy. The meeting also shared about policy measures that the regional economies have implemented in recent period to mitigate the impact of the epidemic and support economic growth recovery, including fiscal and monetary measures.
The Ministers and Governors acknowledged that the COVID-19 epidemic had adversely impact on the ASEAN economies and regional financial stability. Economic activity is expected to be constrained and causing negative growth of the ASEAN region in 2020. Delegates also noted on the probability that epidemic could become complicated and cause a great risk to the regional economic recovery in 2021. Agreed with Ministers and Governors, international organizations believed that financial and monetary agencies in the region need to be prudent in their policies, in order to hit both targets: providing supports for businesses and the economies to return to the normal state, and ensure the safety of the domestic financial and banking system .
In the context of many changes in the regional and world economy due to the impact of the epidemic, the delegates confirmed the necessary to promote the application of information technology and digital transformation in banking and financial services. This is an important factor that will contribute towards a comprehensive and sustainable development of ASEAN economy that resilient to external shocks similar to the COVID-19 epidemic. Delegates agreed that regional financial cooperation is one of the key factors that help countries strengthen their capacity to cope with the impact of economic uncertainties in the coming time, while support regional economic recovery in a sustainable and inclusive way.
ASEAN financial cooperation initiatives
The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors noted the progress of the working groups. Regarding capital market development, the Ministers and Governors endorsed the report on Promoting Sustainable Finance in ASEAN with valuable recommendations for member countries. Regarding financial services liberalization, the Ministers and Governors noted the negotiating results of the Working Committee on Financial Services Liberalization on the 9th Package of Financial Services Commitments under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), and encouraged member countries to reach substantial and meaningful commitments for financial services, as this will be the last package of commitments before transitioning to ATISA. Regarding the ASEAN Integration Forum, the Ministers and Governors are pleases with the finalization of the Roadmap for the ASEAN Insurance Integration Framework (AIIF).
ASEAN banking cooperation initiatives
The Ministers and Governors appreciated the cooperation results of working groups in the banking sector when most of the operational goals set forth from the beginning of 2020 were reached, particularly the priority initiative of the ASEAN 2020 on promoting regional payment connectivity. The Governors of the Central Bank have adopted a number of cooperation initiatives, including: (i) Report the roles of ASEAN central banks in managing climate and environment-related risks; (ii) ASEAN Sustainable Banking Agenda; (iii) ASEAN Sustainable Banking Principles Initiative; (iv) ASEAN Cybersecurity Resilience and Information Sharing Platform (CRISP). In particular, the Principles of ASEAN Sustainable Banking Agenda is the initiative proposed by Viet Nam aiming to build general sustainable principles for the operations of ASEAN banking systems.
With high consensus, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors approved the Joint Statement of the 6th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (the full Joint Statement is attached).
The 6th ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting under the chairmanship of Viet Nam took place with great success. Member countries highly appreciated the organization, chairmanship and administration of the Meeting of Viet Nam in 2020 and hope that the 7th Meeting will be successfully organized under the chairmanship of Brunei in 2021.