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Enhancing ASEAN Competitiveness To Reap Regional Growth Opportunities

05 Apr 2006

Siem Reap, 5 April 2006: Ministers at the 10th Annual ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting acknowledged that it was important for ASEAN's financial sectors to be competitive in a globalised financial environment. They committed to further drive the growth and sophistication of ASEAN capital markets and strengthen market integration efforts in the region.

Speaking at the meeting in Siem Reap, Minister of State for Finance Mrs Lim Hwee Hua noted that the vibrancy and growth of ASEAN economies would bring about new investment and trading opportunities. This would spur regional private equity and capital market developments further, including new financial products to tap potential investor interest. Mrs Lim added that ASEAN Ministers remain committed to developing greater linkages across regional capital markets by 2010.

Mrs Lim also cited the Singapore 2006 (S2006) IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, scheduled to take place in September 2006, as a good opportunity to profile ASEAN. "As host country, we hope to focus the world's attention on the vibrancy and dynamism of the ASEAN economies. Specifically, we want to showcase ASEAN as a progressive region with a globally competitive financial services market, and profile ASEAN as a new asset class to the international investors. This will boost our regional capital market development in ASEAN."

ASEAN Finance Ministers will be speaking at various platforms during Singapore 2006, reaching out to 16,000 participants who will attend the IMF-WB Annual Meetings. The development of the capital and bond markets, as well as the opportunities in infrastructure financing in many of the ASEAN economies will be some of the areas that international investors can look forward to hearing more about.

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