SEC to co-chair Asean committee

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it will co-chair the Asean Working Committee-Capital Market Development (WC-CMD).

The SEC said the committee of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was established with the vision of achieving cross-border collaboration among capital markets in the bloc.

The Philippines, together with the Ministry of Finance and Economy Brunei Darussalam, will co-chair the committee from 2022 to 2024.

The two countries took over the leadership of the WC-CMD from Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance and SEC Myanmar in a virtual handover event held last August 11.

“In the past two years, as the WC-CMD’s activities heightened and collaboration among its members increased, notable feats in sustainable finance have been achieved, giving way for regional economic stability despite other external factors,” SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee said.

“We acknowledge that collaboration is important in the process to ensure that WC-CMD will produce valuable and significant deliverables next year, as well as remarkable milestones in sustainable finance activities in the Asean,” said Nella Hendriyetty, director of the Center for Regional and Bilateral Policy of the Indonesia Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal Policy Agency.

To date, the WC-CMD has collaborated with the working groups of the Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) on infrastructure financing and sustainable financing to enhance regional cooperation and integration among capital markets in Southeast Asia. It has also developed a sustainable finance report focusing on government and quasi-government sectors in the Asean.

These efforts are part of the working committee’s endeavor to achieve its six priorities for 2022.

Other priorities laid out during the handover include the further refinement of the Asean taxonomy for sustainable finance, further development of the Asean transition standards, further engagement with the joint sustainable finance working group with the ACMF, the preparation of a whitepaper as part of stakeholder engagement, and the finalization of the conversation on sustainable finance, which it completed in March.

Following the handover event, the WC-CMD reconvened on September 14 to discuss various developments in cross-sectoral cooperation including updates on the Asean Bond Market Development Scorecard, the Risk Monitoring Template and the successful socialization of the Conversation Pack of Sustainable Finance First for Sustainable Projects’ Initiative.

The conversation pack is a key tool for the working committee to achieve their sustainable finance goals, as it aims to kickstart discussions with the relevant ministries, government agencies, project owners and promoters to consider using sustainable finance as the first choice for financing for sustainable projects. It encourages further involvement of relevant government bodies to be part of the sustainable finance agenda.

Apart from the WC-CMD, the SEC’s active regional involvement in sustainable finance and capital market development can also be felt in the ACMF. SEC Philippines has also participated in the ACMF Deputies Meeting held last September 19, which provided updates on matters such as bond standards, sustainable finance pand the Asean Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance.

The Asean Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance is a key initiative shared with the WC-CMD. The second version is currently being crafted, and its publication is slated for the first quarter of 2023. This document will serve as a map for the Asean to guide capital toward sustainable activities that would promote economic development. This was further discussed in the Joint Meeting between the ACMF and WC-CMD, which was held last September 28.

Following the meetings with WC-CMD and ACMF, the Commission welcomed delegates from the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) last September 22 at the SEC Headquarters in Makati City. The Nepal visit, which was arranged by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, was aimed at sharing with NRB the Commission’s knowledge and capabilities on consumer protection and education initiatives.

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