Regional surveillance unit AMRO opens in Singapore to support financial stability in volatile times

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said AMRO will be of the same standing as other international bodies such as the IMF.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said AMRO will be of the same standing as other international bodies such as the IMF. PHOTO: SINGAPORE BUSINESS FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - The new year has been marked by increased financial market volatility, and at a time when markets tend to "overshoot", it is important for policymakers not to do the same, and "separate the noise from the trend," said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday (Feb 19).

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in Singapore, after it was formally accorded legal status as an international organisation earlier this month.

AMRO is the independent macroeconomic surveillance unit of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation agreement, a US$240 billion currency swap arrangement set up in 2010 among Asean member states, China, Japan and Korea, as a safety net in times of financial crisis.

"As an international organisation, AMRO will be of the same standing as other international organisations such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund)," said Mr Heng.

Mr Yoichi Nemoto, director of AMRO, said: "With enhanced privileges and immunities, we will be able to deepen our existing collaboration with other international financial institutions, in areas such as staff and information exchange."

AMRO will also introduce a technical assistance programme to improve macroeconomic and financial data adequacy, Mr Nemoto said.