APEC Authorities Concentrates on Sustainability and Digital Economy Policies in the Philippines
Asia-Pacific Region finance and central bank officials were summoned to deliberate on policy recommendations to support the conversion to sustainable finance and perpetrate more durable economic growth and digital economy.
As stated in a release by APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies, under the 2022 Finance Ministers’ Process theme of “Advancing Digitalization, Achieving Sustainability”, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies acknowledged the risk of climate change and the part of sustainable finance in accomplishing global targets to restrain carbon discharge.
Chair of 2022 APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting, Krisada Chinavicharana noted, “In the last two years, authorities around the world have diverted their priorities to saving people’s lives and protecting livelihoods, and rightfully so.”
Chinavicharana expressed, “Today, as we navigate life with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), many of us have realized that sustainability is an integral part of recovery, crucial in building a better future for our people.”
The virtual meeting last March 16 to17, discussed the member economies’ perception and best practices on policy instruments for supporting durable finance given economies’ fiscal limitations and budget limitations from the pandemic.
The members of APEC also reflected on the opportunities and costs of adopting more progressive actions. Furthermore, they considered incorporating disaster risk financing into government funds and a sustainable finance framework.
Krisada mentioned, “As governments, we have the potential to do more, to mobilize resources and make structural changes.”
He added, “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 extensive growth on the digital front prompted APEC member economies to look into intensifying the role of digital technologies for fiscal policy and in inclusive finance.
Krisada expressed, “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.”
Moreover, Krisada cited, “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 the government.”
Given that the Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor to worldwide revenues, Krisada pushed member economies to take advantage of the momentum and discuss how the trend can be captured for the benefits of financial inclusion while solving the challenges in extraterritorial transactions.
Krisada added, “This will greatly benefit not only people across the region but also our micro, small and medium enterprises that can benefit from the transparency, openness, and connectivity across the region.”
APEC members also heard from international organizations that raised the effects of sanctions and geopolitical tensions together with the increasing value of materials and inflationary pressures, which will have overflow effects on the region’s economy.
The discussions on the meeting will be brought forward to the APEC Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting this coming June while the recommendations will be provided to APEC Finance Ministers in their October meeting.