In the ASEAN financial cooperation process, the 24th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting was held via video conference on October 2, 2020. Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung and Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Le Minh Hung co-chaired the meeting at Le Hong Phong International Convention Center, Hanoi.
THE 24TH ASEAN FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEETING (AFMM)
Ha Noi, 2nd October, 2020
Attending to the meeting together with ASEAN Finance Ministers were ASEAN Secretary-General, the President of the World Bank Group, and the President of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In the meeting, ASEAN Finance Ministers, ASEAN Secretary-General and leaders of international organizations discussed the regional and global economic outlook and development topics, and reviewed outcomes of the regional financial cooperation process.
Development topics in ASEAN
The Finance Ministers, Secretary-General and leaders of international organizations discussed the economic outlook, ASEAN connectivity and infrastructure initiatives, sustainable development programs, including green finance and digital economy, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on current development goals and policy responses of member states. International organizations acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse impacts on not only economic activities but also efforts to resolve regional development problems. To deal with the pandemic, the international community has increased their responses in supporting the affected developing countries. The World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank have provided financial assistance to regional economies. The G20 Group approved a Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which suspends more than $5 billion in debt payments for 43 eligible countries this year.
Sharing view with the Meeting, Ministry of Finance of Viet Nam affirmed that Viet Nam, like other ASEAN countries, has made many efforts in implementing solutions towards sustainable development. The fiscal and monetary policy solutions such as providing a support package for the poor and the unemployed, reducing or exempting some taxes and fees for small and medium enterprises, reducing interest rates, ensuring credit resources to meet the requirements of the business, that help the economy achieve a growth rate of 2.12% in the first 9 months. In the coming time, the Government of Viet Nam will continues policies that focus on developing infrastructure, ensuring social security, and responding to climate change. Viet Nam highly appreciates solutions that international organizations have been implementing, especially the program of suspending debt repayment and support packages to overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Viet Nam commits to continue to strengthen cooperation, particular in information sharing, effective use of funding in a transparent, open way, and facilitate sustainable development in the future.
The Ministers highly appreciated the presentations of the ASEAN Secretary-General, the President of ADB and the President of the World Bank Group, and highlighted the importance of these topics in the economic development of each country and the whole region.
Progress of ASEAN financial cooperation activities
At the meeting, Ministry of Finance of Viet Nam as the Chair of the 2020 ASEAN Deputy Finance Ministers’ Meeting, briefed on the progress of ASEAN financial cooperation in Infrastructure Finance, Insurance Cooperation, Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance, Customs Cooperation, Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism, and Taxation Cooperation. The meeting also noted the presentation of the Chairman of State Securities Commission of Viet Nam as the current Chair of ASEAN Capital Market Forum (ACMF) on the progress of initiatives, especially the Roadmap for ASEAN Sustainable Capital Markets with four main priorities, namely strengthening foundations, developing products, discovering new products, increasing awareness, capacity building, and strengthening connectivity.
ASEAN financial cooperation has made considerable progress in implementing financial cooperation initiatives, contributing to ASEAN cooperation and integration goals. The Ministers endorsed reports of working groups, gave comments to the future cooperation directions, and commended the efforts of working groups. Despite considerable difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of ASEAN financial cooperation tasks are still on schedule that reflex the ASEAN spirit of cohesiveness and cooperation.
The 24th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting under the chair of Viet Nam has delivered a fruitful discussion. Member countries highly appreciated the arrangements and chairmanship of Viet Nam in 2020. The 25th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting will be chaired by Brunei in 2021./.