ASEAN+3 to create new funding facility for emergencies

Finance ministers and central bank governors from Japan, China, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have agreed to establish a new facility designed to provide each other funds in times of emergency, such as natural disasters or pandemics.

The participants, including Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi and Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Himino Ryozo, met on Friday in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The delegates agreed that the new facility will be set up under the Chiang Mai initiative created in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

They say details will be worked out by 2025.

Suzuki said at a news conference after the meeting that the new facility will offer prompt support in response to external shocks, such as pandemics or natural disasters.

He described the agreement as a major accomplishment, saying ASEAN countries, which are prone to natural disasters, have high hopes for the new facility.

The joint statement released after the meeting said risks, such as heightened foreign exchange market volatility, could affect economic prospects of the three nations and ASEAN members in the near term.

Also on Friday, finance ministers from Japan and Pacific island nations met and discussed climate change and infrastructure investment.

They agreed to maintain close communication to strengthen ties in the economic and financial sectors.