Excellencies, Honourable Ambassadors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the Ministry of Finance of Lao PDR, one of the cochairs of ASEAN+3 finance ministries and central banks, it is my great privilege and pleasure to deliver a speech to commemorate today’s opening ceremony of AMRO as an international organization. I believe this is an epoch making event in the history of Asia.
AMRO was established in February 2009, in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, finance ministers of ASEAN+3 countries, which are 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan and Korea, recognized the need to enhance regional surveillance to protect macroeconomic and financial stability in the region, and thus agreed to establish a regional surveillance unit.
Following this agreement, in April 2011, AMRO was first established as a company limited in Singapore. While AMRO started its operation soon after that, ASEAN+3 members also started the discussion to convert AMRO from a company to an international organization in order to enable AMRO to effectively function as an independent surveillance unit in the region.
In 2013, ASEAN+3 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed on the text of the treaty to convert AMRO from a company to an international organization. This treaty was signed by all ASEAN+3 members in October 2014.
After the treaty was signed, all ASEAN+3 members started respective domestic ratification processes. Thanks to the tireless and dedicated effort by all ASEAN+3 members, on 9 December 2015, the ratification needed for the effectiveness of the treaty was satisfied, and finally the treaty to convert AMRO from a company to an international organization took effect on 9 February 2016.
While AMRO officially has started its business as an international organization only ten days before, AMRO has already accumulated experiences in regional surveillance over the last five years. During this period, AMRO has steadily enhanced its institutional capacity to more effectively function as the regional surveillance unit. In addition, AMRO has also contributed towards ASEAN+3 members’ effort to ensure operational readiness of the CMIM.
I believe that the conversion from a company to an international organization would provide for an important opportunity for AMRO to further strengthen its capacity and widen the scope of business, so that AMRO can more effectively contribute towards ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability in the region. And, on behalf of all ASEAN+3 members, I would like to underscore our commitment to continue to support such effort by AMRO going forward.
Finally, your presence today highlights the importance of AMRO. I wish that AMRO will play the very important role to bring about economic and financial stability, growth, and prosperity in this region.