By Staff reporter
Hoi An, Vietnam, October 22, 2017
The latest financial co-operation developments in the region and implementation of the Cebu Action Plan are other items on the agenda at the APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting.
The meeting is co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha and Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Nguyen Thi Hong.
Ha said meeting is of significance for both domestic and foreign delegates, because progress made in four financial priorities set for the year 2017 will be reported to finance ministers the following day.
The finance and bank deputies had approved four co-operation priorities at their previous meeting held in Nha Trang in Febuary, including long-term investment in infrastructure, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), disaster risk financing and insurance, and financial inclusion.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Sebastian Eckardt, the World Bank’s Lead Economist and Programme Leader, said all four priorities initiated by Viet Nam were important for many APEC member economies.
Regarding BEPS, Eckardt said it was very relevant for Viet Nam given that there are a lot of multinational companies operating in the economy.
Besides a sound legal investment framework, it is also crucial to build capacity and tax administration to deal effectively with the very complex operations and transactions of multinational corporations, Eckardt said.
He said disaster risk financing was of great importance for Viet Nam, as its economy is exposed to climate change related shocks.
On average, the economy spends about half per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year on dealing with disaster consequences. Eckardt said delegates discussed efficient ways to manage risk and ensure financial safety, so that when disaster happens, funds can be mobilised quickly to support relief and recovery efforts.
Michelle Theresa Curry, CEO at the Foundation for Development Cooperation, University of Sydney, said that to promote financial inclusion, there should be greater collaboration within APEC, especially in financial risk management in rural areas and the agriculture sector.
Apart from the four priorities, the meeting discussed updated reports on implementation of the Cebu Action Plan, activities of the APEC economic committee and SOM meetings.
In a related meeting on Friday, Vietnamese Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung received David Malpass, Under Secretary of the US Treasury for International Affairs.
At the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation in the areas of taxation, insurance, securities, capital markets and auditing.
The Ministry of Finance has recently received a number of recommendations from US businesses on issues related to Viet Nam’s policy. Minister Dung said Viet Nam was open to discussion and ready to tackle problems facing US businesses operating in Viet Nam.
He also proposed that the US speeds up ratification process of the Agreement on Double Tax Avoidance between the countries and hasten negotiations for the government-level agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance between customs agencies, and Official Development Assistance (ODA) support.
Malpass said the US gave top priority to its ties with Southeast Asia in general and Viet Nam in particular.
Talking to the media after the meeting, Malpass said the bilateral discussions focused on trade relationship which he called more open.
“We discussed on trade relationship that does not damage the American enterprises and workers. Both sides look forward to growth,” Malpass said, adding that the US welcomes Vietnamese investment.
On the same day, Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung met with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mitsuhiro Furusawa and Treasurer of Australia Scott John Morrison.