Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith joined fellow Asean leaders, executives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in vowing joint efforts to boost economic growth and enhance financial stability in an annual meeting this week in Bali, Indonesia.
The PM led a Lao delegation to attend the meeting that took place on October 11-12.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also attended the annual regional meetings of the IMF and the WB.
According to a Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement, participants discussed measures to maintain financial stability and boost economic growth in the region amid potential for increased impacts of a trade war between global economic powers.
The IMF and the WB launched the Bali Fintech Agenda on Thursday at the meet. The agenda contains a set of 12 policy elements established to help member countries harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology (fintech), while at the same time also managing the risks that arise, according to Jakarta Post reports.
The elements included embracing the promise of fintech, enabling new technologies to enhance financial service provision, and to reinforce competition and commitment to open free and contestable markets.
The meeting discussed ways to enhance cooperation striving to attain the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) also known as 2030 agenda, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement read.
Asean leaders underlined the need for the IMF, WB and UN to extend further support and assistance to member countries to help overcome challenges and create conditions conducive to boost economic growth while narrowing development gaps among and within the ten Asean member countries and the region.
On the occasion, PM Thongloun highlighted efforts Laos had taken to fulfil its obligations to realise the 2030 agenda.
The government had incorporated the SDG targets into its 8th five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2016-20 soon after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.
It had also formulated policies and mechanisms to boost and stabilise the macroeconomy and maintain financial stability.
The action had been intensified to improve environments conducive for business operation and trade to enable Laos to further and better integrate with the region and world at large.
These steps had been made possible thanks to the country’s efforts with support and assistance extended by partners especially international institutions and particularly the IMF, WB and the UN.
Amid fallout of the growing conflict on trade between the US and China, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed concern over the development of any long-term megatrend towards trade wars between major powers, Malaysia’s the Star reported.
A trade war was not going to benefit the countries concerned, nor the rest of the world, he reportedly told the Asean Leaders’ Gathering.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update October 13, 2018)
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