G20 group to consult widely, think deeply about review of global financial governance: Tharman

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam speaking at the closing session of the FutureChina Global Forum.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam speaking at the closing session of the FutureChina Global Forum. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Friday (June 2) that the international group of top economists and leaders, which he chairs, will consult widely and think deeply about how international financial system can evolve to meet new world challenges.

"The Group brings together considerable experience from around the world," Mr Tharman, 59, said about the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. "We will consult widely, think deeply and propose how the system of international financial institutions should evolve to meet the challenges of a new era," Mr Tharman said.

The formation of the group was announced at a meeting of the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on April 21. On Friday (Jun 2), 16 members with deep knowledge of finance and a diversity of experience from around the world were announced as part of the group.

They comprise prominent names like chairman of European group of Trilateral Commission Jean-Claude Trichet, Stanford academic Prof John B Taylor, Israeli economist Dr Jacob Frenkel, former Indian central bank chief Raghuram Rajan, former deputy governor of People's Bank of China Zhu Min, British economist and academic Lord Nicholas Stern and others. The members will contribute in their personal capacities, the release stated.

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The group has been tasked with reviewing issues relating to global financial governance, in particular the work of international finance institutions - which include the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks such as the World Bank Group (WBG) and the regional development banks.

With Mr Tharman as chair, the group will review the challenges and opportunities facing the international financial and monetary systems, and recommend practical reforms to improve the functioning of the global financial architecture and governance, according to a press release issued. The group will submit its final recommendations to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors by the time of the IMF/WBG Annual Meetings 2018.

DPM Tharman is currently also the chairman of the prestigious Group of Thirty (G-30) global body of top financial experts for a five-year stint. He was the first Asian to chair the G-30. The Washington-based private group is made up of leading economists and policymakers from across the world, and seeks to deepen understanding of international economic and financial issues.

Mr Tharman is also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, and chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.