Southeast Asian finance leaders discuss containing global risks

Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati - Reuters

NUSA DUA, Indonesia: Talks between Southeast Asian central bank governors and finance ministers entered their final day on Friday, with the leaders focused on strengthening the region's resilience against global risks.

The gathering of finance leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comes amid a backdrop of recent global banking turmoil after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the bailout and takeover of Credit Suisse.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati of Indonesia, which is chairing ASEAN this year, said that even though the region was projected by international organisations to book positive growth this year, policymakers should regularly update policies to respond to fast-changing global dynamics.

"We all need to remain vigilant and to be prepared for some external challenges that may cause turbulence in our regional economies," she said.

Indonesia's central bank governor Perry Warjiyo called on the forum to boost the use of local currencies for settlements to reduce volatility and exposure to major currencies.

Officials at the meeting in Bali also proposed discussing ways to improve the connectivity of region's payment systems, even though the relevant infrastructure in some ASEAN countries was not yet fully developed, Indonesia's deputy central bank governor Dody Budi Waluyo said on Thursday.

They also discussed cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies, he added.

At a meeting on the sidelines of the event, the central bank governors of Indonesia and the Philippines said their banking systems were resilient and that stricter regulations were in place to prevent a repeat of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. - Reuters

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