ASEAN+3 will create a new emergency financing facility

The finance ministers and central bank governors of Japan, China, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have agreed to set up a new facility intended to provide each other with funds in times of need, 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.

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

They say the details will be worked out by 2025.

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

Describing the agreement as a major achievement, he said ASEAN countries, which are prone to natural disasters, have high expectations from the new facility.

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

Also on Friday, the finance ministers of Japan and the Pacific island states met to discuss climate change and infrastructure investments.

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