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ASEAN Indonesia Chairmanship Puts Strategic Focus on Key Regional Issues

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Indonesia is facilitating ASEAN countries in addressing critical strategic issues within the bloc. Among the top priorities are fostering monetary cooperation, managing financial affairs, strengthening social protection, and enhancing disaster insurance financing.

As part of the preparations for the much-anticipated Second ASEAN Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor Meeting (2nd AFMGM) scheduled in August, deputy-level delegations from member countries’ Ministries of Finance and Central Banks have gathered at the ASEAN Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting–Working Group (AFCDM-WG) from 10th to 14th July 2023 in Yogyakarta.

As the ASEAN Chair for 2023, Indonesia is host to nine other member states, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. A notable addition to the gathering was Timor-Leste, joining as an observer for the very first time.

The initiative to bolster ASEAN’s cooperative efforts has garnered positive responses from all member nations, as it aims to position ASEAN as a central hub for global growth, an “Epicentrum of Growth.”

Indonesia Ministry of Finance and Bank Indonesia are fully aware of the need for ASEAN to strengthen cooperation, especially in the economic and financial fields, in order to maintain the organization’s relevance. Some of the AFCDM-WG agenda that emerged included discussions on the progress of the ASEAN Chair Priorities 2023 cooperation, the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, the Roadmap for ASEAN Monetary and Financial Integration and ASEAN financial cooperation.

Notably, Disaster Risk Financing (DRFI) and Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) have emerged as two crucial topics that demand attention to safeguard Indonesia’s nation, assets, and, most importantly, its vulnerable low-income communities from the perils of natural disasters. Parjiono, the Minister of Finance’s Expert Staff for Macroeconomics and International Finance, highlighted that Indonesia’s exposure to an array of natural disasters, coupled with substantial economic losses, has compelled the country to develop a comprehensive Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Strategy back in 2018.

“The DRFI is dedicated to enhancing our capacity to finance disaster mitigation and building economic resilience in the face of various calamities that impact Indonesia,” he emphasized.

It aims to expand disaster response funding by exploring alternative financing sources beyond the state budget, including innovative insurance solutions. Furthermore, the Indonesian government is actively collaborating with multiple stakeholders to introduce a strategy instrument called the Disaster Pooling Fund as a pivotal component.

In Indonesia, the development of Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) has been set in motion as a direct response to President Joko Widodo’s call for social protection reforms.

As these critical concepts continue to evolve and gain momentum, ASEAN countries are sharing knowledge and best practices among each other to together strengthen disaster preparedness and social safety nets, both at the regional and global levels.

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