APEC Finance Deputies met in Yaroslavl, Russia in February 2012 and Moscow Russia in August 2012. APEC Senior Finance Officials met in Saint Petersburg, Russia in June 2012. Both Finance Deputies and Senior Finance Officials will meet during 2013 at locations in Indonesia. APEC Finance Ministers will hold their annual meeting in September 2013.
The APEC FMP’s work in 2013 will continue to focus on supporting a global recovery. Further work will occur on financial inclusion and treasury systems development in addition to infrastructure and trade financing.
Additional FMP activities implemented in 2012 include:
- The “APEC Financial Inclusion Initiative” (APEC FII) aims to deliver concrete and practical guidance for policy makers on government action and leadership in order to expand the provision and usage of financial services by households, individuals and self-employed entrepreneurs, including those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. A workshop under the APEC FII was held in Manila, the Philippines in May 2012 and related workshops on financial education and literacy were held in Moscow, Russia in April and Saint Petersburg, Russia in June 2012.
- Working to establish an Asia Region Funds Management Passport (ARFP) which aims to raise the capacity of developing economies in APEC to participate in cross-border recognition arrangements, in respect of the regulatory regimes for marketing and trading of funds. A series of policy dialogues and technical workshops to explore ideas and strategies for establishing a pilot of the ARFP have been held over the past two years and work will continue in 2013.
- The “Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Partnership” continued its work of bringing government officials and private sector representatives together to discuss improving the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. Further dialogues are expected in 2013.
- The “Ninth Annual Meeting of APEC Financial Institutions Dealing with SMEs" was convened in July 2012 in Manila, the Philippines.
APEC Finance Ministers and representatives of key international financial institutions (IFIs) held the 19th APEC Finance Ministers' meeting in Moscow, Russia on 30 August 2012.
The Joint Ministerial Statement issued by the meeting includes:
- Emphasis on the importance of APEC members acting together to strengthen the global recovery and ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
- Reaffirming the importance of adhering firmly to open trade and investment, expanding markets and resisting protectionism in all its forms.
- Committing to ensuring the long-term fiscal sustainability of APEC economies while recognizing that short-term fiscal stimuli may be warranted to support growth and job creation.
- Recognizing the importance of monitoring vulnerabilities stemming from the build-up of excessive private debt.
- Reiterating the importance of strengthening resilience against natural disasters and the development and adoption of coordinated disaster risk management strategies. Ministers looked forward to the presentation next year of guidelines for financial authorities’ responses to natural disasters developed in collaboration with the World Bank, the OECD, the ADB and other bodies, to complement the work undertaken by the G20.
- Recognizing the importance of financial literacy as a critical life skill in the 21st century that can contribute to individual and families’ wellbeing, financial stability in APEC economies, consumer protection and financial inclusion. Ministers’ adopted a Policy Statement on Financial Literacy and Education, included as an annex to their statement.
- Noting the importance of modern treasury systems for proper public financial management and encouraging collaboration between members to improve systems within the region.
- Supporting ABAC’s proposal to explore the creation of an Asia-Pacific Financial Forum.
- Looking forward to further development of the proposed model, governing arrangements and policies for a pilot Asia Region Funds Passport.
To progress the goals of the FMP, a number of workshops and seminars took place in 2012:
The “Improving Efficiency of National Strategies on Financial Literacy” project aimed to encourage more coordinated strategies among APEC economies on financial literacy and financial consumer protection. A workshop examining financial literacy strategies was held in Moscow, Russia in April 2012. A conference on improving the efficiency of strategies for financial literacy was also held in June in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The “Prospects and Directions of Developing Treasury Systems for APEC Economies” project aims to improve the long-term sustainability of public finance through increasing the effectiveness of treasury systems among APEC economies. The project examines best practices, promotes information exchange and assists with capacity building where required. A workshop was held in March 2012 in Kazan, Russia and a conference was held in Bogor Indonesia in November 2012.
The “Financial Inclusion Focus on Enhancing Access for Underbanked and Unbanked in APEC Member Economies” project promotes the inclusive growth objective of the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy and supports the APEC Financial Inclusion Initiative. The project aimed to design tools to assist APEC policy makers in their effort to meet the needs of their underserved households, individuals and self-employed entrepreneurs. It identified key components of successful public sector action and developed guidance on how to shape those components. The specific areas of focus included the challenge of designing comprehensive financial inclusion strategies, the potential role of government-to-person (G2P) payments as gateway products, and piloting new methods to develop and track financial inclusion measures. A workshop was held in the Philippines in May 2012.
The “APEC Financial Regulators Training" series aims to strengthen training programs for staff at supervisory and regulatory agencies in the region and improve coordination of regional and international training programs. Seminars were delivered in 2012 for banking and securities supervisors and regulators on topics such as: investigation and enforcement, forensic accounting, risk-focused supervision and financial reporting and disclosure.
Decy ARIFINSJAH (Mr)
Chair of the Senior Finance Officials' Meeting
Head of Center for Regional and Bilateral Policy
Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia
Andrew O’SULLIVAN (Mr)