Lawrence Wong meets IFC managing director, Federal Reserve chairman

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong with International Finance Corporation's managing director Makhtar Diop on April 19, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Finance Minister Lawrence Wong with (from left) Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Counsellor to the Secretary on International Affairs David Lipton. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Mr Wong also met Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on April 19, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE

WASHINGTON - Finance Minister Lawrence Wong met the managing director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr Makhtar Diop, on Tuesday (April 19) and discussed new opportunities for collaboration in the run-up to COP27, the United Nations' climate change conference to be held in Egypt this November.

They also discussed further partnerships in agritech, digital innovation and sustainable financing, Mr Wong said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, and works to encourage the growth of the private sector in developing countries by creating new markets, mobilising other investors and sharing expertise.

Mr Diop said in a Twitter post that the meeting was a great opportunity to discuss scaling up South-South investments and mobilising more finance towards development priorities.

Mr Wong said they also spoke about their hobbies - he plays the guitar and Mr Diop is an avid bass player - and added: "Might show him our jazz scene the next time he comes to Singapore."

Mr Wong is in the United States for meetings with international and American officials, and to attend the World Bank-International Monetary Fund spring meetings.

He was announced as the leader of the People's Action Party's fourth-generation team last week, paving the way for him to be Singapore's next prime minister.

On Tuesday, Mr Wong also met Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, and they had a candid discussion on the outlook for the US economy, the future of digital currency and cross-border payments.

The minister also had a substantive meeting with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, Counsellor to the Secretary on International Affairs David Lipton and the Treasury team. Also at the meeting was Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon.

They exchanged views about multilateralism, the global economy and new areas of collaboration, including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Mr Wong said.

The framework is an initiative by the Biden administration to signal its commitment to engage countries in the Asia-Pacific.

The Treasury Department said Mr Adeyemo, Mr Wong and Mr Menon also discussed views on regional economic issues and areas of bilateral collaboration, including sustainable finance.

Mr Adeyemo also congratulated Singapore on taking over the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) presidency in July, and expressed support for their priorities.

While in Washington, Mr Wong will also attend the second Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting under the 2022 Group of 20 Indonesian presidency, as well as the FATF ministerial meeting. The FATF is an intergovernmental, global money laundering and terror financing watchdog.

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