Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

The 17th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting wrapped up on April 4 in
Bandar Seri Begawan , Brunei , issuing a joint statement that
reaffirms their commitment to promote a stable and integrated ASEAN.

“We are determined to continue our efforts to work
towards economic and financial integration,” said the statement of the
two-day meeting.

ASEAN finance ministers also
pledged to narrow the development gap and raise the living standards of
their people by slashing barriers to trade, investment and capital
flows.

To consolidate ASEAN finance cooperation and
economic integration, the participating ministers said the bloc’s member
countries should enhance economic surveillance to attain regional
economic integration.

“We are encouraged by the
improved work of the ASEAN Integration Monitoring Office (AIMO),
particularly with the development of surveillance reports, monitoring
tools, and capacity building programmes,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Task Force of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration
(IAI) held the first consultation meeting on mobilising resources for
and contribution to the implementation of the IAI Work Plan II
(2009-2015), said a press release published on April 4 by the ASEAN
Secretariat.

The force includes ambassadors and
representatives from the ASEAN Dialogue Partners and third parties such
as Australia , China, India , Japan , Republic of Korea , New
Zealand , United States and the Japan International Cooperation
Agency.

Initiated as a new format by current IAI
Task Force Chair Vietnam , the meeting serves as a forum to share
information among IAI stakeholders to raise awareness on the available
resources for Cambodia , Laos , Myanmar , and Vietnam , and to
determine the approaches for the improvement of the force’s activities.

The consultation, which took place at the ASEAN
Secretariat on the threshold of the 42 nd IAI Task Force Meeting, was
to respond to the growing interest in the IAI shared by the dialogue
partners and external parties.

The IAI was launched
at the 2000 ASEAN Summit with the objectives of bridging the development
gap and fostering economic integration in the newer members of ASEAN
including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.-VNA

By vivian