28th AFMM, 11th AFMGM gain great success

VCN - In the framework of ASEAN 2024 Financial Cooperation, the 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting, the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors’ Meetings and related conferences were held in Luang Prabang, Laos from April 4-5. Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc led the delegation of the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam to attend the meetings.
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Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc to attend the 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc to attend the 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting
Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc joins ASEAN meetings Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc joins ASEAN meetings
Finance Ministers take photos at the 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting (AFMM). Photo: Duc Minh.
Finance Ministers take photos at the 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting (AFMM). Photo: Duc Minh.

Promote ASEAN cooperation in financial fields

ASEAN financial cooperation is an extensive cooperation framework, with many diverse cooperation contents covering many important financial fields such as tax, customs, treasury, securities, and insurance.

At the ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting (AFMM), Ministers discussed and provided operational orientations for working committees in the areas of ASEAN financial cooperation, including the customs cooperation forum and ASEAN single window mechanism, ASEAN tax forum, cooperation forum on insurance issues and financial measures to respond to natural disaster risks, financial cooperation for infrastructure development, and capital market development forum

The Ministers recognized important cooperation results such as completing and improving the bilateral tax agreement network among ASEAN member countries and the results of cooperation on special consumption tax, the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund repositioning to a regional leader in green finance, the introduction of the ASEAN Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance Version 2., the completion of ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Phase 2 (ADRFI-2). Especially the completion of technical research on the new generation ASEAN Single Window (ASW) with the aim of establishing a new vision for ASW to become more open, inclusive and interoperable.

The Ministers also approved the establishment of the ASEAN Treasury Forum, and commented on strengthening inter-sectoral cooperation with the health and agriculture sectors in ASEAN.

Within the framework of financial and monetary cooperation, at the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM), Ministers and Governors recognized the results of cooperation in Roadmap for Financial and Monetary Integration in ASEAN (RIA-Fin), notably the results in opening up financial services integration and promoting green financial development.

Regional macroeconomic outlook

In addition to the official conferences, Ministers and Governors also had discussions with international financial organizations (IMF, ADB, AMRO) on the regional macroeconomic situation.

Ministers and Governors shared the opinions of international organizations that the ASEAN region is on a recovery trend, but the level is uneven across countries and economic sectors, inflation has decreased but still remains unstable. The recovery of domestic demand will still be the main driver for regional growth.

In the near future, the ASEAN region still faces many challenges, especially due to the adverse financial impact from geopolitical tensions, global commodity price fluctuations and weaker economic growth in China. Other structural issues, including climate change, rapid digitalization and an aging population, will continue to shape the economic development of the ASEAN region.

Ministers and Governors agreed on the need to continue to maintain stable public debt, consolidate finances, prudently apply macro policies, maintain fiscal and monetary policy space, and continue to follow the goals of structural reform and sustainable growth.

Vietnam plays an active role in regional financial cooperation

On the sidelines of the conference, Ministers and Governors also had a dialogue session with business communities including: ASEAN - EU Business Council (AFMGM - EU ABC); US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), EU-ABC and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

These year’s discussion topics focus on hot issues of concern to the business community, including Green Finance and Financial Technology; enhancing connectivity for resilient financial systems in Southeast Asia, digital transformation; investment facilitation; digital transaction connection; and cross-border digital payment connection.

Sharing at the conference, Minister Ho Duc Phoc acknowledged and highly appreciated the results of ASEAN financial cooperation, identified that financial cooperation initiatives and achieved results are highly similar to two major topics under Laos' year of ASEAN chairmanship, it is "connectivity" and "sustainability".

The view of  the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors’ Meetings. Photo: Duc Minh
The view of the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors’ Meetings. Photo: Duc Minh

Vietnam plays active role in ASEAN connection activities through the fields of customs and tax cooperation, the Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (General Department of Customs) will assume the Chairmanship of the 33rd meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in June 2024 in Phu Quoc.

The Minister also welcomed the efforts and results achieved from ASEAN insurance cooperation activities over the past year, including the 26th ASEAN Insurance Regulators' Meeting (AIRM-26) in December 2023 in Ha Long Vietnam. ASEAN insurance cooperation is on the right track with knowledge sharing and dialogue activities, ensuring a healthy insurance business market, ensuring the "midwife" role of the economy, and actively contributing to the topic of sustainability of ASEAN cooperation 2024.

In addition, the Minister also recognized the results achieved from the implementation of the commitment to open the financial market as well as from negotiation activities in the field of financial services and advances in the ASEAN Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance, the application of the green investment principles and eligibility criteria of ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) to the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, ASEAN Transition Finance Guidance.

The Minister proposed that ASEAN needs to orient working groups and related cooperation forums on financial services to link the issues of negotiation and implementation of commitments with implementation capacity and management requirements to ensure stability and safety of financial markets.

At the same time, strengthening cooperation in green finance and transitional finance, not only within ASEAN, but also requires the participation of external partners, especially partners with financial capacity, to share standards for financial tools suitable to their needs, while also aiming for specific commitments on green finance with preferential conditions for the region.

The 28th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting, the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors' Meeting and related conferences chaired by Laos took place successfully.

Member countries highly appreciated Laos' work in organizing, chairing and operating the meeting in 2024. The 29th ASEAN Finance Ministers' Meeting and ASEAN financial cooperation conferences will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2025.

By Hoai Anh/ Huyen Trang

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