Friday, January 23, 2015

Clark hosts APEC Special Senior Finance Officials Meeting

CLARK FREEPORT-Clark Freeport played host this week to the two-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Special Senior Finance Officials Meeting.
Held at Holiday Inn, it featured sessions on the general overview of the Cebu Action Plan, Promoting Financial Integration, Advancing Financial Transparency, and Enhancing Financial Resiliency among others.
The Cebu Action Plan is envisioned to provide a stepping stone towards an APEC Community that is more financially integrated, transparent, and resilient. In a decade, APEC economies should have harmonized policies, rules, and practices that enable and /or facilitate,” APEC said in a statement.
This shall include free trade and free flow of cross border investments, good governance that results to sustainability and inclusive economic growth, and rapidly growing and robust financial markets that offer diversified financial instruments.
Roadmap of the Cebu Action Plan consists of three action programs namely Promoting Financial Integration, Advancing Financial Transparency, and Enhancing Financial Resiliency.
“Financial Integration in the Asia Pacific can pave the way for greater intra regional trade and investment, as well as more developed financial markets across APEC economies. Financial integration can bring forth various mechanisms that support trade and investments and at the same time widen financial markets in terms of products, service providers, and investors,” APEC added.
Moreover, Financial Transparency is an essential component of good governance as it allows for greater scrutiny that in turn leads to a more efficient use of government resources for development priorities.
APEC economies are enjoined to cooperate on practices fostering financial transparency such as reporting of fiscal data, exchange of information on tax policies and financial transaction across borders, auditing of uses of funds among government agencies, and making the information on and conduct of government procurement process more accessible to the public.
“And lastly, sustainable and inclusive growth and financial market development can only be achieved through macroeconomic stability. Prolonged intra regional trade and investments also rely on the soundness of its participating economies. An important tool in attaining macroeconomic stability is financing resiliency. Financing resiliency entails among others, the creation of sufficient fiscal space that can be used when shocks to the economy arise,” APEC added.
APEC began as an informal dialogue group in 1989, but has since become the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia Pacific region.
Apart from the Philippines, other members include Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; and Viet Nam.
This year’s meetings carry the theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.” (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)

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