Disaster risk financing and insurance were top subjects discussed by the finance officials of 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Hoi An, Vietnam.
The 2017 APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting tackled various financial cooperation endeavours across the region, as well as the implementation of the Cebu Action Plan, which is a roadmap for a more sustainable financial future for the Asia-Pacific region.
In February, the finance and bank deputies met in Nha Trang and approved four cooperation priorities, namely long-term investment in infrastructure, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), disaster risk financing and insurance, and financial inclusion.
At the side lines of the most recent meeting, Sebastian Eckardt, lead economist of the World Bank, told Viet Nam News that investing in resiliency efforts such as disaster insurance was important for Vietnam, as it is quite exposed to climate change-related shocks.
On average, Vietnam spends 0.5% of its annual GDP dealing with natural disasters. According to Eckardt, the meeting discussed more efficient ways to manage risk and ensure financial safety, allowing quick mobilisation of funds to support relief and recovery efforts after disasters.
Meanwhile, Michelle Theresa Curry, CEO of the Foundation for Development Cooperation at the University of Sydney, said that to promote financial inclusion, APEC member economies must collaborate more closely, especially in financial risk management in rural areas and the agriculture sector, which are very vulnerable to disaster-related losses.
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