APEC Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting (SFOM)

May 19, 2017, Ninh Binh, Viet Nam - The Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting resumed for the second day on 19 May under the chairmanship of Mr. Vu Nhu Thang, Director General of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Finance, Viet Nam.

In the session on Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance, delegates exchanged views and discussed policy recommendations on disaster risk management, especially on practical experience in formulation of policy responses in the areas of fiscal contingencies, standby credit schemes, stabilization funds as well as improvement in disaster forecasting and methodology for disaster risk budgeting... Besides, disaster risk insurance emerged as a capable financial tools to mitigate disaster consequences, sustain development and share risks between the State and the private sector in disaster remedy. The Meeting recognized the importance of the completion of disaster risk databases, analysis and supervision of different class of disaster risks to strengthen disaster risk insurance. Senior Officials highly appreciated the active contributions by member economies in providing data on public assets and disaster risk exposure as well as inputs to the model on public assets management and assessment in member economies.

In the session on Financial inclusion – Finance access in rural and agricultural development, the Meeting noted the challenges in financial access in rural and agricultural development and discussed orientations for improving financial access in rural areas to support poverty reduction. Recommendations discussed at the Meeting to promote financial access would be part of the national financial inclusion strategy which focuses resources to develop institutional frameworks, financial basic networks and technologies, diversify financial products and services, promote financial literacy and formulate the strategy for customer protection. Priorities for financial inclusion focus on micro, small and medium enterprises, poor farming households and women. International experiences show that improved financial access and the sustainable rural and agricultural development requires three strong pillars of agricultural bank, bank agents and micro-finance institutions. Micro-insurance is also an important financial tool to support social welfare and contribute to poverty reduction in rural area.

In the last session, the Meeting was updated on the implementation of APEC initiatives, including the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, APEC Financial Regulators Training Initiative (FRTI), the initative on the mutual recognition of Fund management service and ABAC activities. The Meeting also listened to an update from the APEC 2017 SOM Chair Office as well as the proposal on economic, financial and social inclusion which would be submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in November.

To conclude the Meeting, SFOM Chair thanked the active participation by delegates from member economies and representives from international organizations in the two-day Meeting and noted the important outcomes of the Meeting. Finance officials are requested to continue discussions to prepare the report for the forthcoming APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting to be held in October 2017.