Regional Forums and Initiatives

Closer to home, Singapore has established itself as an advocate of advancing regional cooperation and integration within Southeast Asia and Asia. MAS maintains regular economic and policy dialogue and technical exchanges with fellow central banks and financial regulators, to promote the deepening of regional capital markets, strengthening of financial markets, and further developing safety nets for cross-border flows.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia joined subsequently, making up the ten Member States of ASEAN.

The ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint at the 13th ASEAN Summit on 20 November 2007 in Singapore to serve as a coherent master plan guiding the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. One of the areas under the AEC cooperation framework is that on macroeconomic and financial policies. MAS and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) are the main agencies involved in the area of financial cooperation under the AEC Blueprint. Since 1997, ASEAN Finance Ministers have been meeting annually.

MAS participates actively in several forums.  The ASEAN Capital Market Forum focuses on projects to harmonise standards in capital market regulations in ASEAN. Technical work on regional financial and economic cooperation is undertaken by the 4 Working Committees, namely Capital Market Development (WC-CMD), Financial Services Liberalization under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (WC-FSL/AFAS), Capital Account Liberalization (WC-CAL) and Payments and Settlements (WC-PSS).


ASEAN +3 is a forum that coordinates cooperation between ASEAN and the three Northeast Asian nations of China, Japan, and South Korea. The first leaders' meetings were held in 1996 and 1997, and following close cooperation between ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea during the Asian Financial Crisis, the grouping was institutionalised through regular summit meetings.

Under this framework, East Asian central banks and finance ministries participate in the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM+3) process.  Initiatives have included regional cooperation on financial stability, through the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), and bond market development, through the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI). 

CMIM/AMRO: The CMIM Agreement came into force on 24 March 2010.  This USD120billion multilateral currency swap contract between the Ministries of Finance and Central Banks of the ASEAN+3 Countries including Hong Kong, was developed from the Chiang Mai Initiative bilateral swap network established in the aftermath of the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis. With the core objectives of addressing balance of payment and short-term liquidity difficulties in the region, and supplementing the existing international financial arrangements, CMIM will provide financial support through currency swap transactions among participants in times of liquidity need. Each CMIM participant is entitled, in accordance with the procedures and conditions set out in the Agreement, to swap its local currency with US dollars for an amount up to its contribution multiplied by its purchasing multiplier.  In May 2012, the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors made an announcement to double the size of the CMIM to USD240 billion and introduced a crisis prevention facility. The revised CMIM Agreement incorporating these enhancements entered into force on 17 July 2014.

The CMIM comes with an independent surveillance unit, the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), which is located in Singapore. AMRO will monitor the macroeconomic and financial situation of the ASEAN+3 region and plays a key supporting role in the decision-making process of the CMIM.  As host country, Singapore (represented by MAS and the Ministry of Finance) is committed to supporting AMRO to help ensure its successful operations.

ABMI: First initiated in August 2003, ABMI set forth the new Roadmap in 2008 and the new Roadmap+ in 2012 to inject greater momentum into regional bond market development.  ABMI’s activities are organised under four taskforces that address demand, supply, infrastructure and market framework issues respectively. Over the years, ABMI has rolled out a number of initiatives, including the USD700million Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), which provides credit guarantees to support the issuance of local currency-denominated corporate bonds.   MAS works closely with ASEAN+3 member countries to support the ABMI’s efforts to develop and integrate bond markets in the region.

Executives' Meeting of East Asia Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP)

EMEAP was established in 1991 as a forum of central banks in the East Asia and Pacific region to strengthen cooperation amongst its members. It provides a platform for discussion of topics of common interest, including on financial and monetary stability, bond market development, payment and settlement systems and banking supervision. EMEAP has also undertaken important surveillance and research work.

EMEAP comprises of 11 central banks and monetary authorities: Reserve Bank of Australia, People's Bank of China, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Bank Indonesia, Bank of Japan, Bank of Korea, Bank Negara Malaysia, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Bank of Thailand.

MAS participates in EMEAP to support regional financial stability and development.

South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN)

SEACEN started in 1966 as an annual meeting of the central bank governors, of which Singapore was a founding member, with the aim of providing a forum to exchange information and ideas on matters affecting the economies and financial systems of member countries. SEACEN has since expanded its membership from the original 8 members to 18.

In 1982, SEACEN established the SEACEN Research and Training Centre to promote a better understanding of the financial, monetary, banking, and economic development issues of interest to member countries, as well as to stimulate and facilitate cooperation in research and training. The centre undertakes research on financial, monetary, banking and economic issues. It also organizes and conducts training courses, and provides advisory and technical services to member countries.

Technical Assistance

MAS provides technical assistance to our counterparts in the region. MAS hosts study visits from central banks and regulators, where we share our experience on a range of topics, such as banking regulation and supervision, payment and settlement systems, monetary and economic policies, monetary and reserves management, and staff training and development. The MAS Academy contributes to the training of the regional supervisory community, and provides speakers and resource persons to various regional as well as international supervisory training institutions.

MAS Lecture Series

A signature central banking event, the MAS Lecture was first held in 2000 and provides a platform for a distinguished member of the international financial community to speak on issues of current interest to a gathering of central bankers, regulators and industry players from Singapore and the region. Previous speakers include William McDonough, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Sir Howard Davis, former Executive Chairman of UK Financial Services Authority and Jean-Claude Trichet, former President of the European Central Bank, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Managing Director of the IMF, and Toshihiko Fukui, former Governor of the Bank of Japan.

Last Modified on 26/11/2016