KUALA LUMPUR – Starting this year, ASEAN Finance Ministers will hold annual joint meetings with Central Bank Governors, says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
“Initially, this meeting was supposed to be the 19th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting, but last year we decided that we must invite and work together with the central bank governors,” he told a press conference on the last day of the meeting here Saturday.
The inaugural ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) would be used for sharing views on economic outlook, regional policy challenges and as a platform to propose new initiatives towards fostering sustainable and inclusive growth.
Ahmad Husni said ASEAN is fully committed to strengthening regional economic growth and promoting financial stability.
“ASEAN remains resilient and is poised for 5.0 per cent economic growth in 2015 despite the increased challenges in the external environment including slower global economic growth outlook, declining commodity prices as well as volatile financial and foreign exchange markets.
“ASEAN is committed to implementing appropriate monetary fiscal policies which are complemented with macro-prudential policies to sustain the economic growth and financial stability,” he said. He said the organisation would also put in place measures to increase domestic demand, continue with structural reforms, enhance private sector investment and intensify cooperation and integration initiatives.
Among the issues discussed at the three-day meeting was financial integration, on which significant progress has been made over the years, as evident from the increased presence of member state banks across the region.
“Financial inclusion is also a priority for us and in this regard, a working committee will be set up to deliberate and coordinate efforts to enhance financial inclusion in ASEAN,” he said.
Laos will take over the chairmanship of ASEAN and host the second AFMGM in 2016, Ahmad Husni said.