The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is moving closer to creating a common market, a Cabinet official told the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Accomplishments made by the Philippines and other Asean members were reported by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd during a meeting with IMF managing directors over the weekend in New York, the Finance department said.
“Asean has moved dramatically in its effort to build a region-wide policy framework to enhance trade, economic cooperation and financial flows among the association’s member countries. We are now moving closer towards achieving the strategic goal of a common regional market,” Dominguez was quoted as saying.
Key achievements made, he said, include the adoption of strategic action plans; endorsement of key performance indicators to be used in tracking deliverables; progress in the ratification of the sixth and seventh financial services commitment package and the start of negotiations for the eight package; a Roadmap for the Asean Insurance Integration Framework; significant progress in the Asean Banking Integration Framework; and the launch of regional financial inclusion initiatives.
Average growth this year among Asean member countries is expected to hit 5 percent, Dominguez reported, driven by strong domestic consumption.
Some Asean economies, however, are being inhibited by higher inflation and weaker-than-expected trade flows, which he described as short-term limitations that could turn for the better once global growth picks up.
“The Asean region is presently one of the fastest and main drivers of global growth. As a group of export-oriented economies, however, we look with concern at the prospect of more developed countries adopting more inward-looking trade and investment policies,” Dominguez also said.