YB Minister of Finance II, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah attended the second day of the 21st APEC FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEETING (APEC FMM) in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The topic of discussion amongst the Finance Ministers was the global and regional economic outlook as well as APEC’s response to risks and strengthening regional economic cooperation, fiscal and taxation policies.
At the meeting, YB Minister of Finance II provided his views on the global economic conditions. He said APEC as a region continues to exhibit dynamism and is performing relatively well. This will be further strengthen with greater cooperation amongst member countries. Hence, he commented that member countries need to find ways to leverage further the APEC platform. This include the role APEC can play in boosting growth for other regions especially the European regions which is currently fragile. The APEC region has an important position in driving the global economic growth.
On current global economic uncertainties, YB Minister of Finance II commented that it requires multiple solutions to improve the situation and it has to be tailored in accordance to a country's economic condition. He urged multilateral bodies to conduct a qualitative study on each country in order to provide a more efficient and effective assistance.
YB Minister of Finance II expressed his concerns on the growth of shadow banking and high risk financial behaviour that was the cause of the global economic crisis. He calls upon adoption and tightening of a regulatory system that will lessen the risk of triggering another crisis.
The APEC FMM also discussed on improving financial services for regional real economy including on the importance of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) industry financing. Pertaining to this matter, YB Minister of Finance II shared Malaysia's experience in developing the SME industry, where it represents about 99% of the total companies in Malaysia. The contribution of SMEs to gross domestic product is around 31%. He commented the unique initiatives by Malaysia which are the Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF)-Bursa Research Scheme (CBRS) and the Investment Account Platform (IAP).
He clarified that the purpose of the CBRS is to raise the profile of small and medium sized public listed companies by providing research coverage. This enhanced their attractiveness to investors and provide a viable option for SME to raising financing through the equities market and not to be solely reliant on debt funding.
On the IAP, which was announced recently in Budget 2015, YB Minister of Finance II commented that initially, the IAP will be implemented with a startup fund of RM150 million. He explained to the APEC Finance Ministers that it will provide opportunities to investors in financing entrepreneurial activities and develop SMEs. The meeting concluded with a Joint Ministerial Statement which touched upon the subject discussed during APEC FMM. The 22nd APEC FMM will be held in Cebu, the Philippines, on September 10-11, 2015.