Najib Arrives in Phuket for ASEAN Finance Ministers

By Sunday February 22nd, 2009 No Comments

PHUKET, Feb 21 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrived here today to attend the Special Asean+3 Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM).

Najib, accompanied by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was received by Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand, Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob and Finance Ministry officials at the Phuket International Airport.

Tonight, Najib will attend a welcoming dinner hosted by Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij. On Sunday, Najib is scheduled to hold bilaterial meetings with Chinese Finance Minister xuren xie and Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

“The Chinese side requested for the meeting. It’s probably to discuss the current economic situation and trade matters,” a Malaysian official said.

The special meeting is being held by Asean finance ministers together with their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea to find ways to stem the tide of the worsening global economic crisis.

The thrust of the meeting at the resort-island would be to take stock as to how vulnerable regional economies are and explore initiatives to boost their respective economies such as through domestic spending.

It’s taking place as there is a sign of growing concerns among the Finance Ministers and region’s leaders on the impending impact of the crisis that started in the United States, unlike the previous financial crisis in 1997 which started in Thailand following the speculative attack on the Thai Baht.

It also came with India’s announcement that it was not ready to sign the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Asean slated during the 14th Asean Summit in Hua Hin next week due to the global economic conditions.

Among the other issues on the agenda are the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), the Asian Bond Market, currency exchange and cross border stock market investments.

The ministers are expected to discuss further the decision to expand the CMI capital pool from US$84 billion to US$120 billion to help members facing liquidity difficulties and to supplement existing financial arrangements.

Source : Bernama

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