MACTAN, Cebu – Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting starting Monday, 03 April, in Mactan island in the province of Cebu, the Philippines, to discuss ways of fleshing out ASEAN’s commitments to financial integration and cooperation, against the backdrop of a new wave of protectionism and other uncertainties in the global economy.

To be hosted by Philippines’ Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. at the Shangrila’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City, the meetings will also include the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investors Seminar (AFMIS), an annual event that aims to provide the regional bloc’s member-states with a platform to interact with investors and financial institutions, and exchange views on how to promote ASEAN as a regional investment destination.

This year marks a milestone for the ASEAN, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the Philippines as host. The 2017 ASEAN theme is “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

The 2017 AFMIS will also focus on updates on ASEAN’s engagement with the global economy, regional connectivity, and the progress of the ASEAN Economic Community, which is designed to create a single market and production base within the region through the free flow of goods, skilled labor, services and investments among its 10 member-states.

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AFMIS’ breakout sessions will be organized to discuss, among others, prospects on the growing consumer market in ASEAN Economies, which is gaining the largest critical mass among emerging economies, and infrastructure investments as a vehicle for sustainable growth in the region.

Agreements on the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework are expected to be signed on the sidelines of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meetings.

The separate meetings of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and the Central Bank governors will simultaneously open on April 7. The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Joint Meeting, the third to be held under the ASEAN, will take place later in the afternoon.

A joint press conference by the finance ministers of the immediate past (Lao Republic), present (Philippines) and future (Singapore) ASEAN chairs will be held after the Joint Meeting.

The official gatherings of the ASEAN finance ministers and central bank governors will be preceded by a series of meetings and fora among the ASEAN finance deputies and central bank deputies on April 4-5.

An ASEAN + 3 Finance and Central Deputies Meeting with China, Japan and Korea and a separate ASEAN-US Treasury Deputies Meeting will be held on April 5.

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The BSP-Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum Debate will be held on April 3.

Before the ASEAN finance and central bank chiefs buckle down to work, Tetangco will host a dinner reception on April 5, followed by a gala dinner hosted by Dominguez on April 6. – with Department of Finance Philippines