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16th ASEAN finance ministers' meeting kicks off in Cambodia

(Xinhua)

08:19, March 31, 2012

PHNOM PENH, March 30 (Xinhua) - The 16th ASEAN finance ministers' meeting kicked off here Friday to search effective measures for ensuring sustainable economic growth and financial stability in the region.

The one-day meeting was attended by ASEAN finance ministers, central bank governors and representatives of Asian Development Bank, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

"The gathering is to exchange views on global and regional economic challenges, and to review the progress in our financial cooperation in order to seek necessary actions to maintain growth momentum and secure financial stability in the region," said Keat Chhon, Cambodia's finance minister, in a welcome speech.

"We also discuss ways to mobilize additional resources to facilitate our financial cooperation and integration activities to contribute the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, " he added.

According to Keat, the meeting covered five major topics, including Regional Economic Development and Outlook, ASEAN Surveillance Process, Roadmap for Financial and Monetary Integration of ASEAN, ASEAN Finance Cooperation, and ASEAN+3 ( China, Japan and South Korea) Finance Cooperation.

"The ASEAN finance ministers have made significant progress in deepening financial cooperation in recent years," he said. "Going forward, we will continue to take bold measures to deepen ASEAN's financial integration and strengthen cooperation in areas of capital market development, capital account liberalization, cooperation on taxation, customs, and insurance as well as promotion of ASEAN Equities."

Addressing the opening of the meeting, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN finance ministers to do all their best to mobilize financial resources from development partners and international institutions as well as private sector in order to support ASEAN Connectivity Master-plan and to narrow development gap among ASEAN member states.

He also advised them to promote coordination and cooperation among ASEAN and ASEAN+3, particularly focusing on the Asian Bond Markets Initiative and the Chiang Mai Initiative Multi- lateralization.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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