At their 24th meeting on Saturday in Vietnam, finance ministers of the 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) adopted a joint ministerial statement, pledging to use all policy tools, monetary, fiscal and structural, individually and collectively to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.
At the 2017 APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting in central Hoi An city with the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the ministers centered their discussions on global and regional economy, Cebu Action Plan (CAP), long-term investment in infrastructure, base erosion and profit shifting, disaster risk financing and insurance, and financial inclusion.
According to the joint ministerial statement, fiscal policy tailored to member economy's circumstances should be used flexibly and be growth friendly, while ensuring that the public debt as a share of GDP is on sustainable path.
Monetary policy should continue to support economic activity and ensure price stability, consistent with central banks' mandates.
Strong fundamentals, sound policies, and a resilient international monetary system are essential to the stability of exchange rates, contributing to strong and sustainable growth and investment.
The ministers reaffirmed the importance of the APEC Finance Ministers' Process as an active forum for fostering policy cooperation and exchange of experience among economies in the region.
Regarding the CAP, they encouraged member economies, on a voluntary and non-binding basis, to continue to submit activities and initiatives in alignment with the CAP for implementation as appropriate to their domestic circumstances.
They also recognized the importance of mobilizing long-term investments in infrastructure and reiterated the relevance of quality infrastructure for sustainable economic growth.
While recognizing the role of public investment in APEC economies, diversification of financing sources and fostering private sector involvement in infrastructure projects is an important solution to meeting the significant demand for long-term capital for infrastructure.
The ministers called for closer regional cooperation in sharing experiences, approaches and good practices on tax policy development, legislative design and tax administration in order to address the challenges of base erosion and profit shifting in the Asia-Pacific region while enhancing the certainty, transparency and fairness of the tax system.
With regard to disaster risk financing and insurance, they called for effective strategies on the issues, including solutions for financial risk management of public assets, which will help mitigate and transfer risks, thereby better support timely rehabilitation and reconstruction when disaster occurs.
Regarding financial inclusion, the ministers recognized that agricultural finance makes an important contribution to the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas, and helps narrow income gaps through capacity building for people and businesses in developing household business, micro, small and medium enterprises, value chains, and scientific and hi-tech-based agricultural production.