Economic development should not be achieved at any cost, but associated with environmental sustainability, said State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Giau yesterday in Hanoi.
Speaking at the opening session of Governors’ seminar Asia 2050: Pursuit of Growth, Sustainability and Well Being, Giau said Asia was an important food provider to the world and that all five countries most heavily affected by climate changes were in Asia, namely China, India, Bangladesh, Japan and Vietnam.
Therefore climate change could threaten global food security and cause man-m
ade disasters and associated instability.
The State Bank governor also noted that Vietnam was one of the two developing countries most heavily affected by the global climate change and rising sea level.
Environmental studies have shown that if the sea level increases by 1 metre, 10 percent of Vietnam’s population will be directly affected and the country will see a 10 percent chunk of its GDP swallowed up.
“I fully support the study’s recommendation that we should act immediately to avoid having to pay much higher costs in the future for sustainable environmental development. At the regional cooperation level, I am calling for greater co-ordination, [and] working together in dealing with this challenge.”
“The ADB should play a more important role in taking the initiative to mitigate and to address negative impacts of global climate change, prev
enting economic and human disasters in the future.
“Domestically, the government and the public need to join hands to pursue green economic development which is environmentally friendly and sustainable. In particular, a great deal of importance should be given to improving public awareness on environmental protection and prevention of implications caused by climate changes,” said Giau.
During yesterday’s workshop, delegates highlighted important issues including the demographic shift to the cities and the prevention of
According to Motoyuki Odachi, Japan’s deputy Finance minister, both developing and developed countries were faced with urbanisation which was overloading transportation and medical services among many other problems.
According to an Indian representative, the country would need $3,000 billion to build infrastructure for their cities in the next 40 years.
The Indian government, however, could only hope to raise half of this sum with the remainder needing to be mobilised from external sources.
Therefore, the only way to reduce pressure on urban areas was to slow urbanisation by addressing problems in rural areas. This included creating jobs for local people and improving skills for rural workers by providing vocational training and investing in education.
health care for rural areas was also critical, the Indian representative said.
Giau also said to tackle migration to big cities, job creation in rural areas was needed. Creating a stable income for these workers meant they would not move to the cities.
The finance ministers of the 10 Asean member countries and three dialogue partners – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea � met in Hanoi yesterday to discuss boosting regional financial cooperation and spotlight challenges facing the region.
During the one-day meeting, which was occasioned by the ongoing 44th ann
ual Asian Development Bank meeting in Hanoi, the ministers exchanged views on recent global and regional economic development and policy management, and reviewed progress of regional financial cooperation since their last meeting.
They received updates on projects including the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) and the Asean+3 Research Group.
“We endorsed the ‘Operational Guidelines for Enhancing Effectiveness of CMIM’, which is the operational manual for the currency swaps made pursuant to the CMIM Agreement, including the CMIM’s activation process in relations to the existence of the IMF programmes,” said the officials in a joint ministerial statement issued at the
end of the meeting.
In the statement, the finance ministers also said they believed these guidelines would contribute to swift and smooth activation of the CMIM agreement.
The ministers also welcomed the establishment of AMRO which, as the surveillance unit of CMIM, plays an important role in monitorin
g and analysing regional economies, as well as contributing to the early detection of risks and swift implementation of remedial action, and the effective decision-making of CMIM, the statement said.
“We expect AMRO to be fully operational soon and are committed to its smooth and efficient operation,” the statement read.
The ministers also welcomed the establishment of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) last November with an initial capital of $700 million.
In addition, there was enthusiasm for the progress of Asean+3 Bond Market Forum (ABMF), a common platform to foster standa
rdisation of market practices and harmonisation of regulations relating to cross-border bond transactions in the region.
The ministers acknowledged in the statement that the Research Group had played an important role in identifying and exploring subjects for possible regional financial cooperation from mid- and long-term points of view by mobilising the knowledge and expertise
of private research institutions.
“We recognised t
hat Asean+3 financial cooperation has presented significant achievements under such initiatives as CMIM, ABMI, ERPD and Researc
h Group,” read the ministers’ statement.
The ministers said they had tasked deputies to initiate studies, with support from the ADB as appropriate, in three possible areas for future cooperation. These included infrastructure financing, disaster risk insurance and using local currencies for regional trade settlement.
The participants at the meeting agreed to invite central bank governors to join the meeting, a move which transform the gathering into the “Asean+3 Financial ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting” from next year.
The next meeting will take place in the Philippines in 2012 with Cambodia and the Republic of Korea acting as co-chairs.