APEC finance officials focus on sustainability and digital economy

APEC finance and central bank MPs gather under the theme of the 2022 Finance Ministers Process “Advancing Digitalization, Achieving Sustainability”. (ANTARA/HO-APEC Secretariat)

JAKARTA – Finance and central bank MPs from the Asia-Pacific region gathered to deliberate on policy recommendations to support the transition to sustainable finance and commit to economic growth and an economy digital more durable.

Under the theme of the 2022 Finance Ministers Process “Advancing Digitalization, Achieving Sustainability”, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies recognized the risk of climate change and the role of sustainable finance in achievement of global carbon reduction targets, as noted in a statement issued by APEC Finance and Central Bank MPs and received here on Thursday.

“Over the past two years, authorities around the world have diverted their priorities from saving people’s lives and protecting livelihoods, and rightly so,” said Krisada Chinavicharana, chairman of the 2022 meeting of finance deputies. and APEC central banks.

“Today, as we navigate life with Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), many of us have realized that sustainability is an integral part of recovery, crucial to building a better future for our people” , Krisada said.

The meeting, held virtually on Wednesday and Thursday (March 16-17), heard views and best practices from member economies on policy instruments to support sustainable finance given economies’ fiscal limitations. and budget constraints related to the pandemic.

APEC members also reflected on the opportunities and costs of adopting more ambitious measures and considered further integrating disaster risk financing into government budgets and into a sustainable financing framework.

“As governments, we have the potential to do more, mobilize resources and make structural changes,” said Krisada, who simultaneously serves as permanent secretary in Thailand’s finance ministry.

“We cannot afford to stand still and wait for the private sector to move. Close collaboration and partnership between the two is ideal,” he added.

Strong growth on the digital front has prompted APEC member economies to consider deepening the role of digital technologies in fiscal policy and inclusive finance.

“During the pandemic, when we were in lockdown, governments have learned to use data to better allocate and target government aid or stimulus packages, which are then delivered through digital channels, such as mobile apps or electronic payment platforms,” ​​Krisada said. .

“We must continue to ride the wave of technology and expand its role in supporting areas, such as payment and remittance services, as well as revenue collection for government,” he said. declared.

Given that Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor to global payments revenue, Krisada urged member economies to make the most of this momentum and discuss how the trend can be harnessed to benefit the financial inclusion while addressing the challenges of cross-border transactions.

“This will greatly benefit not only the people of the region, but also our micro, small and medium enterprises which can benefit from transparency, openness and connectivity across the region,” he added.

APEC members also heard from international organizations who discussed the impact of sanctions and geopolitical tensions as well as rising commodity prices and inflationary pressures, which will have ripple effects on the economy in the region and led to an adjustment of monetary policies.

Discussion of the two-day meeting of finance and central bank MPs will be brought forward to the meeting of APEC senior finance officials scheduled for June this year.

Their recommendations will be presented to APEC Finance Ministers when they meet in October this year. (antara)

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