Facilitating International Financial Crisis Discussions

In 2009, Singapore hosted and chaired the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process, in particular the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). This meeting saw the participation of APEC Ministers and senior officials from 21 member economies to discuss APEC’s response to the financial crisis, as well as steps needed to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the APEC region. Arising from the meetings in Singapore, APEC finance officials agreed to establish a Working Group on Structural Reforms to identify and study priority areas of reform and facilitate exchange of best practices on structural reform measures amongst the APEC economies. The Working Group is co-chaired by Singapore and Korea. MAS was also a key partner of the World Bank in jointly organising the World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Summit, which brought together public sector policy makers, industry leaders and businesses to discuss new developments and initiatives in regional infrastructure financing efforts (see Box Story 6).

As the 2009 APEC Chair, Singapore was invited to participate in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings in London and St. Andrews, as well as the 2009 Leaders’ Summit in Pittsburgh, where we contributed our views and perspectives on the financial crisis to the G20 processes. MAS continues to work closely with other central banks, prudential regulators and finance ministries to advance global solutions on a range of macroeconomic and financial reform issues.

In addition, MAS and the IMF co-hosted the 3rd High Level Meeting of regional Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and Heads of International Financial Institutions. The meeting was held concurrently with the APEC AELM. Participants discussed Asia’s role in maintaining global financial stability, which includes improving the domestic investment environment and tackling challenges in shifting the composition of capital flows towards more stable foreign direct investments (FDI). The meeting also acknowledged the need to address structural and investment-related challenges in Asia, and that global imbalances will only be gradually reduced over the medium-term.

In October 2009, MAS and the Financial Stability Institute cohosted a closed door policy forum in Singapore on the theme “Banking and Banking Regulation: A New Era”. The forum was attended by 40 senior regulators and central bankers from Asia, US and Europe. Liu Mingkang, Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, delivered the keynote speech. Forum participants exchanged views on the causes and lessons from the crisis, and considered ways to strengthen the regulatory framework. The challenges of implementing macro-prudential supervision were discussed, including how procyclicality concerns could be addressed.

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