SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has highlighted the Philippines’ proactive steps in navigating global challenges at the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting in San Francisco, California from November 12 to 13, 2023.
With the theme “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” the ministers welcomed presentations and shared views on: (i) utilizing modern supply-side economics (MSSE) to promote resilient, inclusive, and sustainable growth; (ii) leveraging sustainable finance for clean, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transition efforts, as well as support for mitigation efforts; and (iii) ensuring the establishment and maintenance of an innovative digital asset ecosystem built on maintaining a region with high regulatory standards, closing regulatory and data gaps, and promoting financial stability.
The finance ministers discussed the state of the global economy and shared country-specific policies geared towards achieving economic recovery and growth.
The need to strengthen supply chains, labor markets, and service sectors, as well as slow down inflation were also emphasized during the meeting.
Representatives from international organizations shared the global economy’s weak outlook, as well as the downside risks that countries needed to look out for, including geoeconomic tensions and sustained tighter global financial conditions.
In his intervention, Secretary Diokno discussed how the Russian-Ukraine war has been disrupting supply chains and causing supply shortages, leading to elevated levels of inflation globally––including in the Philippines.
With this, he shared that the Philippines is taking proactive steps through its Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO) by introducing a package of comprehensive measures to effectively mitigate inflation across several fronts.
The IAC-IMO serves as an advisory body to the Economic Development Group (EDG) on measures to mitigate both food and non-food inflation as well as ensure food and energy security while balancing the interests of producers, consumers, and the economy.
As the leader of the Marcos Jr. administration’s economic team, Secretary Diokno shared that the government is committed to exercising fiscal discipline through the Philippines’ first-ever Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) to promote fiscal sustainability, reducing the fiscal deficit while enabling economic growth and avoiding adding up to inflationary pressures.
On another note, Secretary Diokno shared that the Philippine government is collaborating with financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) to scale up sustainable finance in the country.
He underscored the defining role of finance ministers in solving the climate crisis, saying that they are in the ideal position to mainstream sustainable finance into economic strategies, design green fiscal policies, and incentivize the financial system to invest in climate-resilient projects.
In the Philippines, the Department of Finance (DOF) is responsible for mobilizing financial resources to fund projects, programs, and initiatives towards green and sustainable projects.
The APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting is an annual forum where APEC member economies address regional macroeconomic and financial issues and policy priorities. This year, it is chaired by the United States Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.
APEC consists of 21 member economies, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, and Viet Nam. It is set to hold its 31st meeting in Peru in 2024.