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APEC finalizes draft for Cebu Action Plan

Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2015 - 10:00am

MACTAN ISLAND, Cebu, Philippines – Senior finance officials from Asia-Pacific finalized yesterday the draft for the Cebu Action Plan, which is expected to protect the region against future financial crises.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said discussions among senior finance officials from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have resulted in an endorsement for today’s finance and central bank deputy ministers’ meeting.

The approval of the Cebu Action Plan, meanwhile, would be given by APEC Finance Ministers tomorrow, Beltran said.

“There’s broad support for all the pillars because these are necessary to make APEC a rapidly growing and very inclusive region,” Beltran said.

Negotiations during the senior financial officials meeting were primarily on the “wording” of some policies included in the 20-year roadmap for the region, he added.

The Cebu Action Plan, introduced by the Philippines in January, is a four-pillar proposal covering financial integration, fiscal transparency and policy reform, financial resiliency, and infrastructure development and financing.

Beltran said one of the policies being crafted under the Cebu Action Plan is to make the economies of the region resilient to natural disasters and external risks abroad, such as the recent downturn of China’s stock market, as well as the pending rate hike in the US.

“One of the measures is to try and soften the impact of some volatilities to member economies,” Beltran said.

Fabier Roca Fabianis, director general at Peru’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, said in the same briefing there now exists a “new normal” following the global financial crisis of 2008.

“We understand macro prudential measures are a key factor to face the new normal. We understand also the creation of buffers… is a need for all the economies,” Fabianis said.

He said the comprehensive actions detailed under the Cebu Action Plan would help the member economies weather volatility in the financial markets.

But Beltran said while some of the things listed in the Cebu Action Plan need the full backing of the member economies’ Congress because of legal hurdles, he believes the region is on the right track to implementing the roadmap.

“The development partners are looking forward to assisting the member economies to get ready for more liberalization and integration. It takes a while to get there but at least we’re getting forward to get there,” Beltran said.– With Prinz Magtulis

ACIRC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BELTRAN BUT BELTRAN CEBU ACTION PLAN ECONOMIES FABIER ROCA FABIANIS FINANCE MINISTERS FINANCE UNDERSECRETARY GIL BELTRAN MACTAN MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND FINANCE WITH PRINZ MAGTULIS
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