Lawrence Wong attends meeting of G-20 finance ministers, talks with counterparts

Mr Lawrence Wong meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Tengku Zafrul Aziz at the G-20 meeting in Washington. PHOTO: LAWRENCE WONG/FACEBOOK
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong at the G20 Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' Meeting on April 20, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Mr Wong met his Indonesian counterpart Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who chaired the meeting on April 20, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE

WASHINGTON - Finance Minister Lawrence Wong attended the second Group of 20 (G-20) Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' Meeting and met international leaders in Washington on Wednesday (April 20).

The finance ministers discussed and agreed on the need to coordinate both fiscal and monetary policies in order to preserve global economic stability during this period, Mr Wong said in a Facebook post.

They also discussed longer-term issues such as strengthening the global public health system and tackling climate change.

"We had good discussions amongst ourselves on how we can advance these important agendas," he added.

Mr Wong, who will be in the United States until April 25, said: "We are meeting under extraordinary circumstances. In many ways, we are heading into a perfect storm of multiple crises.

"We cannot afford to take a country-by-country approach. We need much stronger, multilateral cooperation to recover together, and to recover stronger."

He added: "The road ahead remains long and uncertain. However, I believe that with Indonesia's leadership of the G-20, we will strengthen multilateralism and #recovertogetherrecoverstronger."

Mr Wong also met his Indonesian counterpart Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who chaired the meeting, and congratulated Indonesia on its successful conclusion.

"Singapore is honoured to have been invited. It was a good opportunity to meet so many familiar faces (and some new ones) after so long," he wrote on Facebook.

On Wednesday, Mr Wong also met several of his counterparts from the Asia-Pacific, as well as beyond.

They included Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, and Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

Mr Wong met Luxembourg's Finance Minister Yuriko Backes for the first time, and said they discussed areas of mutual cooperation.

He also met Turkey's new Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati, and Brazil's Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes.

"Brazil has a highly developed digital finance market and an energy mix that is 85 per cent renewable. Much more that Brazil and Singapore can do together," Mr Wong wrote.

In addition, Mr Wong met leaders of inter-governmental organisations, including Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development secretary-general Mathias Cormann, who he described as an old friend, and World Bank Group managing director and chief financial officer Anshula Kant.

He said he discussed with Ms Kant innovative ways that the World Bank can work together with Singapore, such as in the areas of disaster risk insurance and green bonds.

"Anshula has a long and personal history with Singapore," he added.

Ms Kant was a former chief executive of the State Bank of India in Singapore, and went on to be a managing director of the bank before taking on her World Bank role.

On Thursday (April 21), Mr Wong will attend the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Ministerial Meeting.

Ministers will discuss the role of the global watchdog in taking action against money laundering, as well as terrorist and proliferation financing, which are crimes that impact society and threaten global security, FATF said in a statement on its website.

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