World Economy

APEC Members Committed to Sustainable, Inclusive Growth

Diversification of financing sources and fostering private sector involvement in infrastructure projects are an important solution
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (rear) speaks at the 24th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, in central Vietnam, on Oct. 21.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (rear) speaks at the 24th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, in central Vietnam, on Oct. 21.

At their 24th meeting in Vietnam, finance ministers of the 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation adopted a joint ministerial statement, pledging to use all policy tools, monetary, fiscal and structural, individually and collectively to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

At the 2017 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in central Hoi An city with the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the ministers centered their discussions on global and regional economy, Cebu Action Plan, long-term investment in infrastructure, base erosion and profit shifting, disaster risk financing and insurance, and financial inclusion, Xinhua reported.

According to the joint ministerial statement, fiscal policy tailored to member economy’s circumstances should be used flexibly and be growth friendly, while ensuring that the public debt as a share of GDP is on sustainable path.

Monetary policy should continue to support economic activity and ensure price stability, consistent with central banks’ mandates.

Strong fundamentals, sound policies and a resilient international monetary system are essential to the stability of exchange rates, contributing to strong and sustainable growth and investment.

The ministers reaffirmed the importance of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process as an active forum for fostering policy cooperation and exchange of experience among economies in the region.

Regarding the CAP, they encouraged member economies, on a voluntary and non-binding basis, to continue to submit activities and initiatives in alignment with the CAP for implementation as appropriate to their domestic circumstances.

  Investments in Infrastructure

They also recognized the importance of mobilizing long-term investments in infrastructure and reiterated the relevance of quality infrastructure for sustainable economic growth.

While recognizing the role of public investment in APEC economies, diversification of financing sources and fostering private sector involvement in infrastructure projects is an important solution to meeting the significant demand for long-term capital for infrastructure.

The ministers called for closer regional cooperation in sharing experiences, approaches and good practices on tax policy development, legislative design and tax administration in order to address the challenges of base erosion and profit shifting in the Asia-Pacific region while enhancing the certainty, transparency and fairness of the tax system.

With regard to disaster risk financing and insurance, they called for effective strategies on the issues, including solutions for financial risk management of public assets, which will help mitigate and transfer risks, thereby better support timely rehabilitation and reconstruction when disaster occurs.

Regarding financial inclusion, the ministers recognized that agricultural finance makes an important contribution to the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas, and helps narrow income gaps through capacity building for people and businesses in developing household business, micro, small and medium enterprises, value chains, and scientific and hi-tech-based agricultural production.

  Improving People’s Lives

APEC member economies must ensure that growth tangibly improves people’s lives as they move to sustain an emerging recovery in the Asia-Pacific, said Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in remarks to the region’s finance ministers.

“The global economy is recovering and the APEC region, with the world’s leading economies and many dynamically developing ones as members, remains the driving force for growth,” explained Phuc. “The progress of our economies should cause us to join hands to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for prosperity and sustainable development.”

“We must continue to actively cooperate in APEC towards the objectives of promoting economic integration, innovative and inclusive growth and enhancing the competencies of our small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Finance ministers are addressing concerns over low productivity, improving but still underperforming growth, and the impact of rapid technological innovation and climate change in APEC economies, which account for three billion people and 60% of global GDP.

“The Asia-Pacific is still faced with many challenges that require enhanced cooperation in the quest for new drivers of growth,” noted Vietnam Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung, Chair of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting.

“Concerted efforts by all APEC member economies to share good practices and experiences and help each other to effectively address the difficulties we face will contribute to the overall development of the region,” the minister concluded.

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