Finance Officials Focus on Sustainability and Digital Economy
Finance and central bank deputies are convening to deliberate on policy recommendations to support the transition to sustainable finance and commit to more sustainable economic growth.
Under the 2022 Finance Ministers’ Process theme of “Advancing Digitalization, Achieving Sustainability,” member economies recognized the risk of climate change and the role of sustainable finance in achieving global targets to curb carbon emissions.
“In the last two years, authorities around the world have diverted their priorities to saving people’s lives and protecting livelihoods, and rightfully so,” said Krisada Chinavicharana, chair of 2022 APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting. “Today, as we navigate life with COVID-19, many of us have realized that sustainability is an integral part of the recovery, crucial in building a better future for our people.”
The meeting, held virtually on Wednesday and Thursday, heard member economies’ views and best practices on policy instruments for supporting sustainable finance, given economies’ fiscal limitations and budget constraints from the pandemic.
Members also reflected on the opportunities and costs of adopting more ambitious measures and considered further integrating disaster risk financing into government budgets and a sustainable finance framework.
“As governments, we have the potential to do more, to mobilize resources and make structural changes,” added Krisada, who is also the Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Finance Ministry. “We cannot afford to stand still and wait for the private sector to make a move. A collaboration and close partnership between the two is ideal.”
The vast growth on the digital front prompted member economies to look into deepening the role of digital technologies for fiscal policy and in inclusive finance.
“During the pandemic, when we were on lockdown, governments have learned to utilize data in order to better allocate and target government assistance or stimulus packages, which are then delivered through digital channels, such as mobile applications or electronic payment platforms,” Krisada explained.
“We must continue to ride the wave of technology and extend its role in supporting areas such as payment and remittance services, as well as revenue collection for government.”
Given that the Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor to global payments revenues, Krisada urged member economies to seize the momentum and discuss how this trend can be captured for the benefits of financial inclusion while addressing challenges in cross-border transactions.
“This will greatly benefit not only people across the region, but also our micro, small and medium enterprises who can benefit from the transparency, openness and connectivity across the region,” he concluded.
Members also heard from international organizations who raised the impact of sanctions and geopolitical tensions, increasing commodity prices and inflationary pressures, which will have spillover effects on the region’s economy, and has prompted adjustment of monetary policies.
The discussion from the two-day finance and central banks deputies’ meeting will be brought forward to the APEC Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting scheduled for June this year. Their recommendations will be provided to APEC Finance Ministers when they meet in October.
For more information about the schedule of the APEC 2022 Thailand meetings, visit our event calendar page.
For further details, please contact:
Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at [email protected]
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at[email protected]