Joint Press Communiqué 58th SEACEN Governors’ Conference / High-Level Seminar and the 42nd Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors

Joint Press Communiqué

58th SEACEN Governors’ Conference / High-Level Seminar and the 42nd Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) hosted the 58th SEACEN Governors’ Conference/High-Level Seminar and the 42nd Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors (BOG) on 4-5 December 2022.[1] The SEACEN community was pleased to re-commence its practice of meeting in person for the first time in three years, especially since the SEACEN Centre is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The last year saw members’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic met by headwinds from a global financial tightening, an expected slowdown of external demand, bouts of higher inflation, a concerted interest rate hike cycle by systemically important countries, elevated energy and food prices, high levels of non-financial corporate debt, strained public budgets, higher borrowing costs and structural issues. Governors and Managing Directors as well as delegates from SEACEN member central banks and monetary authorities acknowledged the deep economic and financial impact of the pandemic, as well as the scarring effects that may linger over the medium term. Governors re-affirmed their commitment to continue supporting the economic recovery, through leveraging the SEACEN community to enhance their respective policy responses on macro, fiscal, financial, and structural fronts.

The 42nd Meeting of the SEACEN BOG was preceded by a High-Level Seminar on climate change and current policy challenges. Following welcome remarks by Mr. Chea Chanto, Governor, National Bank of Cambodia, and Mr. Mangal Goswami, Executive Director, The SEACEN Centre, Governor Chanto moderated the first of three sessions. This Keynote Session on climate change challenges involved Madame Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank; Professor Larry Summers of Harvard University; Mr. Luiz Pereira da Silva, Deputy General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements; and Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Chair of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). This was followed by the second session on “The Global and Asia Economic Context”, which featured a presentation by Mr. Sanjaya Panth, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Asia and Pacific Department, and a roundtable with Mr. Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, Governor of the Bank of Thailand; Mr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; Mr. Dody Budi Waluyo, Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia; and Mr. Darryl Chan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The final session, moderated by Mr. Mangal Goswami, was on “Transition Challenges and Scaling Up Climate Financing” and included a presentation by Mr. Fabio Natalucci, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department and a sharing of views and experiences by Mr. Felipe M. Medalla, Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Mr. Ma Jun, President of the Institute of Finance and Sustainability in China. All three sessions were followed by a panel discussion and exchange of views from SEACEN Governors. The High-Level Seminar was closed by Mr. Roger Nord, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development.

SEACEN member economies will need significant climate financing in the coming years to facilitate transition in their economies and manage the physical risks caused by climate change. Establishing the right climate policies to complement a central bank’s monetary and financial stability policy goals constitutes a challenge. Since climate change influences key economic variables such as output and inflation, climate change will need to be considered for the design and operation of monetary policies. The discussion by speakers, panellists and SEACEN Governors discussed the macroeconomic effects of climate change (such as economic losses due to extreme weather) and the role central banks and regulators can play in supporting a just transition to a net-zero economy, with a particular focus on domestic and regional implications. The discussions centred around assessing and monitoring the various potential impacts of climate change and designing appropriate tools, approaches, and policies for central banks to mitigate macroeconomic and climate risks, and the need for regulators to provide supervisory guidance to mainstream credible transition plans by financial institutions. Given the many questions around climate change and sustainable finance, particular attention should be focused on scaling up public-private partnerships in climate financing, addressing data gaps, ensuring comparability and interoperability of taxonomies, overcoming analytical challenges, dealing with new dimensions of uncertainty, identifying financial stability risks, and ensuring disclosures are consistent, comparable, and reliable.

During the BOG meeting, the Governors approved the 2023 SEACEN financial budget, the training and research programmes and other activities for 2023, two new Strategic Partners as well as the results of the organization’s scorecard. At the conclusion of the meeting, the members expressed their appreciation to the outgoing Chairman, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam for her strong leadership of SEACEN in 2022. The Governors welcomed Mr. Chea Chanto as the new Chair of the SEACEN BOG, and thanked NBC for the excellent arrangements in hosting this year’s meeting of the SEACEN BOG.

In addition, the Governors accepted with appreciation the offer of the Reserve Bank of India to host the 59thSEACEN Governors’ Conference/High-Level Seminar and the 43rd Meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors in 2023.

[1] SEACEN comprises the 19 member central banks and monetary authorities of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as eight Associate Members and eight Observers.