Singapore | Virtual

1. Good morning fellow ASEAN+3 Finance Think-tank Network (or AFTN) members. On behalf of AMRO, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to you for your strong support and commitment in establishing the AFTN. Over the past few months, we have been working together toward this day—the official launch of the AFTN.

2. This special occasion marks another milestone in ASEAN+3 regional financial cooperation. Thanks to the firm support from ASEAN+3 members, we have assembled an elite group of 21 eminent institutions at this pilot phase of the AFTN.

3. Since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the ASEAN+3 economies have been diligent in enhancing the regional financial safety. The ASEAN+3 Finance Process was established to address the threats to regional economic and financial stability by promoting regional financial cooperation. As a result, concrete initiatives such as AMRO and the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (or CMIM), and the Asian Bond Markets Initiative were established.

4. Since then, the economic and financial landscape has changed dramatically. To maintain macroeconomic and financial stability, ASEAN+3 economies have to address tremendous challenges, such as the pandemic, climate change, supply chain reconfiguration, digitalization, and population aging, among others. Overcoming these challenges cannot be the work of a single economy or institution alone. Safeguarding macroeconomic and financial resilience and stability calls for regional solutions and collective efforts, with broader and deeper cooperation.

5. In this context, the AFTN is precisely one of the key initiatives that demonstrates our region’s strong desire to act promptly and firmly in the face of challenges by harnessing diverse expertise across the ASEAN+3 economies. It is also a very important component under AMRO’s Strategic Direction 2030 that aims to bolster the breadth and depth of research. In the coming years, the AFTN will serve as a platform for us to foster knowledge exchange, share experience, and learn from peers. At the same time, it will spark greater ideas and knowledge and enable us to provide higher quality policy advice.

6. Since AMRO’s establishment, collaboration with member authorities has been a fundamental tenet of our work. Beyond that, we also forged partnerships with other International Organizations and Regional Financing Arrangement institutions. Once again, powered by solidarity, the launch of the AFTN completes another building block of how ASEAN+3 economies and institutions work together to secure regional resilience and stability.

7. I am honored by your participation in, and commitment to, the AFTN. After the MOC signing, we will attend our first AFTN Steering Committee meeting. I strongly encourage everyone to leverage our network. Whether it is to conduct joint research, hold dialogues, or mobilize research resources—the opportunities are endless.

8. I am pleased to note that some institutions have already taken the opportunity to invite other AFTN members to participate in their events. Earlier this year, AMRO also organized roundtables and roadshows through cooperating with some AFTN members, and more activities are in line. I am sure the potential to cooperate is huge.

9. On this note, I would also like to seek your support to continue developing our network. I’m confident that we will reap the benefits of a strong network. And AMRO stands ready to act as the AFTN secretariat to facilitate cooperation and maximize the value-add to all think-tank network members.

10. Today is a special day for many of us, especially colleagues from China, Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore. It is the Moon Festival, which is a day for family members to gather. Today is also the first gathering of the AFTN family members. The basic idea of the AFTN is to contribute to our regional economic and financial resilience and stability through collective efforts. I look forward to the success of our partnership.

11. Thank you very much.