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    MAS-ASEAN on Sustainability Taskforce, Taxonomy and Banking Principles

    March 31, 2021

    MAS published a joint statement on the seventh meeting of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. At the meeting, the discussions covered topics such as the priorities for 2021, policy challenges in context of pandemic, green infrastructure financing, development of a taxonomy for sustainable finance and the ASEAN Sustainable Banking Principles, establishment of the Task Force on Sustainable Finance, and operationalization of the ASEAN cyber-security platform.

    The participants of the meeting welcomed the initiative to develop an ASEAN Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance, which will be the overarching guide for all ASEAN member states, complementing their respective national sustainability initiatives and serving as ASEAN’s common language for sustainable finance. The taxonomy initiative has been jointly launched by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), the ASEAN Insurance Regulators Meeting (AIRM), the ASEAN Senior Level Committee on Financial Integration (SLC), and the ASEAN Working Committee on Capital Market Development (WC-CMD). The participants endorsed the establishment of the ASEAN Taxonomy Board to develop, maintain, and promote a multi-tiered taxonomy that will consider ASEAN’s needs as well as international aspirations and goals. Such a multi-tiered ASEAN Taxonomy is inclusive and will facilitate an orderly and effective transition toward a sustainable ASEAN. The group looks forward to the announcement on the progress of the development of the ASEAN Taxonomy by the end of 2021.

    The participants commended ASEAN central banks’ continued commitment and coherent response to sustainable finance development. The participants endorsed the initiative on ASEAN Sustainable Banking Principles, which will serve as guiding principles to help ASEAN central banks develop further sustainable banking guidelines and tools aligned with each respective country’s context. They welcomed the establishment of the Task Force on Sustainable Finance under the SLC, which will follow-up on the recommendations from the Report on the Roles of ASEAN Central Banks in Managing Climate and Environment-Related Risks (which was published in November 2020), as well as the ASEAN Sustainable Banking Principles; the task force will also coordinate with the relevant ASEAN Working Committees and other sectoral bodies on cross-cutting issues to advance the priority work agreed by the SLC. They also reiterated the commitment to accelerate infrastructure development and financing in ASEAN through mobilization of innovative financing. They commended the progress of the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) as a platform for ASEAN Green Infrastructure by leveraging the AIF resources to accelerate green projects and bridge bankability gaps. The participants also discussed other sustainable finance initiatives for the insurance sector and capital markets.

    With respect to promoting cyber resilience, the participants expressed satisfaction with the full operationalization of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Resilience and Information Sharing Platform (CRISP), with the entry into force for the participating ASEAN member states that have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Sharing of Information during Activities of Digital and Technology Network on February 01, 2021, which allows information-sharing to combat cybersecurity threats and to develop collaborative mitigation actions for ASEAN Central Banks.

     

    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, Sustainable Finance, Cyber Risk, ASEAN, Taxonomy, ESG, Banking Principles, Guidance, MAS

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