Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank building, Beijing, China, September 5, 2020. /CFP
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan and South Korea on Monday vowed to strengthen regional financial cooperation while providing continued support for countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement issued after a virtual meeting on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's annual meetings, the ministers pledged to achieve inclusive recovery, preserve long-term fiscal sustainability and maintain financial stability.
China, Japan and South Korea said they would explore "new initiatives" to strengthen the regional financial safety net at the virtual meeting with ASEAN.
ASEAN includes Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The financial chiefs vowed to use all policy tools to ensure a sustainable economic recovery and gradually normalize expansionary policy while mitigating risks of a fiscal cliff.
At their last virtual meeting in September, the financial chiefs from Japan, South Korea, China and ASEAN, a group known as ASEAN+3, promised to boost the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM).
The CMIM plays a crucial role in supporting regional financial stability by allowing the member economies, which include the ASEAN+3 and China's Hong Kong, to tap currency swap lines to secure currencies in need.
The regional financial leaders also underscored their commitment to backing open and rules-based multilateral trade and investment in the region.