The South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre today held the 30th SEACEN Anniversary Conference at Sasana Kijang of Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Conference, which was hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia, provided a unique forum for policy makers of central banks and monetary authorities from Asia-Pacific to exchange views and experiences on pertinent and emerging issues and challenges. Under the overarching theme of “Greater Financial Integration and Financial Stability” about 100 delegates comprising Governors and Deputy Governors gathered to discuss and deliberate on areas such as macro-financial linkages; greater cross-border financial integration and supervisory policy challenges for central banks, financial integration and the new global financial architecture.
In the Opening Remarks for the Conference, Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia stated that after the recent turbulent history in global finance, recovery has only been transitory. The calm after the storm is still evading the region as well as the world. The SEACEN region has seen a deepening of economic ties, regional trade, investment activities as well as finance. Asia is a diverse region which provides complementarities among the SEACEN economies. The further financial liberalization and integration requires a healthy domestic financial system based sound supervisory and regulatory framework as we well as risk management. Further financial integration will contribute to more sustainable development in the region. SEACEN economies share principles for sound financial systems in spite of the diversity in the region. SEACEN has been a platform to share knowledge and experience in the region and the Financial Stability Journal is a major step forward on this way.
In his Welcome Remarks, Mr. Hookyu Rhu, Executive Director of The SEACEN Centre, underlined the timeliness of the Conference in view of significant changes in the financial structure of SEACEN economies in the last two decades, especially in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the recent Global Financial Crisis. He also mentioned that the rapid expansion in the financial services industry and globalization of financial markets have made maintaining financial system stability an area of concern for central banks. In view of this, SEACEN has initiated the SEACEN Financial Stability Journal (SFSJ) to promote thought leadership on policies, practices and topical issues related to financial stability.
The Keynote Address for the Conference was given by Dr. Christine Cumming, Vice-President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York who spoke on the fallout of the recent Global Financial Crisis. She posed the question whether repressed financial activity since then implies a slowdown of financial integration. She underlined raising prudential standards, globally, regionally as well as nationally. Asia is a shining example for progress in this area. She illustrated the progress in this area by a number of practical examples. However, the supervisory authorities are not sure how this regulatory strengthening will affect the activities of the financial intermediaries. She stressed the importance of monitoring their business plans whether they serve the real economy rather than only the financial sector. The increased complexity of the financial sector needs profound understanding and sound management. In this context, the voice of regions, such as of SEACEN needs to be communicated.
About The SEACEN Centre
The South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre was first established as a legal entity in 1982 with eight member central banks/monetary authorities which has since grown to 19 members in 2013. Since its inception in the early 1980’s, The SEACEN Centre has established its unique regional position in serving its membership of central banks in the Asia-Pacific region through its learning programmes, research work, and networking and collaboration platforms for capability building in central banking knowledge. In addition to its 19 members, the Centre has an outreach of 16 other central banks which are invited for the Centre’s learning programmes, as well as 26 regional and international strategic partners. The SEACEN Centre focuses on central banking knowledge areas in Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Management; Financial Stability and Supervision; Payment and Settlement Systems; and Leadership and Governance.
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