Dodwell in SFO Manado - Post 2

May 27, 2013


In the densely packed Senior Finance Officials’ agenda in Manado, the main reason for me being there was to listen to the ABAC “report back” from the Sydney Asia Pacific Financial Forum (APFF) meeting, provided by JC Parrenas from ABAC Japan. The report back was necessarily tentative, since ABAC’s full menu of insights and recommendations will not be fully discussed and agreed until ABAC3 in Kyoto in July, but it was comprehensive nevertheless:

Among key messages from the meeting:

  • Most of the APEC economies’ capital markets are under-developed, inefficient and fragmented, driven (sometimes inappropriately) by global regulatory reforms.

  • Main challenge is to engender a “Grand Process” of regional cooperation that expands connectivity, builds regulatory capacity, and improves the quality and integrity of the region’s capital markets

  • There are already lots of regional and global organizations involved in capital market development, so APEC should avoid duplication.

  • The distinctive value of an APFF would be to identify crucial gaps, help regional authorities to have stronger influence on shaping global standards, and promote collaboration among stakeholders, in particular harnessing sustained private sector involvement


Possible priorities to be discussed at ABAC3 in Kyoto will be:

  • Develop insurers and the insurance industry as long term investors

  • Develop retirement schemes which again can be key in developing regional capital markets

  • Build better access to (and use of) capital markets by small companies and farm communities by developing “full-file” credit reporting systems for people who lack conventional collateral to borrow. This is obviously part of APEC’s “financial inclusion” priority.

  • Build the region’s capacity to enable trade finance and cross-border investment, including “repo” markets for hedging government and corporate bonds, and a regional “fund passport”.

  • Address the “unintended” and extraterritorial impacts of new regulations.

So the next step is for ABAC to finalise recommendations on a future APFF at its Kyoto meeting in July, and build a work programme that will take us through to 2015. We are emphasizing concrete deliverables, and “doable” initiatives. The APFF will act under the Finance Officials’ track, with championship coming from ABAC, collaborating with international financial institutions as well as finance ministries and private sector contributors.

Few initiatives will be more important for ABAC than this in Kyoto.

⇒  More blog posts from the SFO Manado meetings series.

⇒  Dodwell's other meetings blogs.


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