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APEC Finance Ministers to Focus on New Pathways to Growth

12 Nov 2009

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers emphasised the importance of focusing on structural reforms that that will raise the region’s potential economic growth over the medium- to long-term, even as it begins to emerge from the worst financial crisis and global recession since the Second World War.

Joined by the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the 16th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), the Ministers discussed challenges such as timing of exit strategies, private markets’ risk appetites in the wake of the crisis, and the longer term challenge to public balance sheets arising from aging populations.

Chair of the FMM and Singapore’s Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said: “What came through strongly in our discussions today was the sense that structural reforms have to be at the core of efforts to strengthen domestic demand over the medium- to long-term, and that APEC is well-suited to advancing these reforms. There is no one-size solution, but we agreed to cooperate and connect expertise from across member economies and work with the multilateral development banks on areas ranging from changes needed to attract infrastructure finance, develop social safety nets and pension schemes, and design sustainable urban solutions.”

Finance Ministers tasked officials to study how APEC economies should partner with international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF, WB and the ADB to work out best ways to share knowledge on key areas of priority in structural reforms, and draw on expertise and resources from economies with relevant experience, IFIs and the private sector. Ministers also stressed the importance of improving the investment environment to attract private investment in areas such as infrastructure development.

12 November 2009

Also see: 16th APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting - Joint Ministerial Statement