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APEC Finance Ministers Contribute Priorities to Secure Future Growth
Source: apec.org
Source Date: Saturday, November 06, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: Nov 08, 2010

APEC Finance Ministers agreed to contribute priorities for future growth at their meeting here on Saturday after exchanging views on current economic and financial developments and policy direction in the Asia-Pacific region.

Issuing a declaration at the end of their meeting, Ministers emphasized the importance for APEC members to take policy measures to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the region.

Ministers agreed to submit the "Kyoto Report on Growth Strategy and Finance" to APEC Economic Leaders for their consideration when they meet next week in Yokohama. The report identifies priorities for securing future growth, including rebalancing and strengthening of global demand, pursuing sound fiscal management, and enhancing finance to key sectors such as infrastructure, small and medium enterprises, households and green investment.

In their joint statement Ministers acknowledged that the global economy is recovering from the recent financial crisis, but uncertainty remains. While growth in the region is uneven across economies, They said financial reforms are proceeding and that APEC economies should continue to take steps to build a stronger and more resilient global financial system. They also said that they remain committed to maintaining open markets and fighting protectionism.

In support of recent moves by the G20, Ministers agreed to strengthen multilateral cooperation to promote external sustainability and pursue the full range of policies conducive to reducing excessive imbalances and maintaining current account imbalances at sustainable levels.

Because of the weight of APEC economies and their role in the global economy, Ministers recognized that each member, whether a surplus or deficit economy, has to implement policy measures. Economies with current account deficits will need to take steps to boost domestic saving while those with current account surpluses need to reduce their reliance on external demand and undertake structural reforms that catalyze stronger domestic demand-led growth.

Ministers also said that they will move towards more market-determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals and will refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies.

They also said that they need to ensure appropriate financing for several key areas, including for infrastructure, to strengthen growth, enhance productivity, alleviate poverty and improve access to service delivery systems. Ministers said they will continue to support emerging APEC economies as they implement public-private partnership infrastructure projects, including through a new mentoring program to be launched next year.

Addressing the needs of micro, small and medium-size enterprises, and households, Ministers launched an APEC Financial Inclusion Initiative to identify concrete actions that financial policy makers can take to expand the reach of financial services to those that need them.

Ministers committed to taking action to raise international regulatory standards to ensure a level playing field and avoid fragmentation of markets, protectionism and regulatory arbitrage while also recognizing the importance of creating more open and integrated financial markets in the region.

International financial institutions, including the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also addressed the meeting and provided analysis and economic forecasts for the region.

The outcomes of the 17th APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting will be delivered to APEC Economic Leaders when they meet in Yokohama, Japan next weekend.
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