Griffith University has signed three new Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in recent weeks with South Pacific central banks, formalising the institutions’ commitment to work together in pursuit of positive, lasting change in the region.
Griffith’s South Pacific Centre for Central Banking program convenor, Dr Parmendra Sharma, met with representatives of the Bank of PNG, Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) and Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) to sign the agreements, which join a previous MoU established with the Reserve Bank of Fiji in October 2015.
Griffith is the only academic institution with MoUs with the South Pacific central banks, providing opportunities to accomplish the institution’s high-level goal #5: “To enhance our engagement with Asia and the near Pacific and to consolidate our reputation as one of Australia’s most Asian-engaged universities.”
“The main objective of the MoUs is developing capacity for research and policy formulation at the central banks in the region; that’s the whole idea,” Dr Sharma said.
“So relating to that, we work on research-based projects together – joint working papers, we call them.
“The idea of these working papers is to ultimately use for developing new or revising and reviewing existing policies.
“So the policies at the central banks involved in the region are eventually going to be grounded in research, as they should have been always, but may not have been the case.”
The Memoranda of Understanding are part of an ongoing program between Griffith and the central banks, which will be further solidifed through a five-year research engagement program that has already begun to bear fruit, Dr Sharma said.
“We have identified a number of research topics,” he said. “We’ve already worked with this one central bank on some research topics, and we have identified more now with others for the next two, three years at least.”
Beyond completing joint working papers together, the relationship will see Griffith and the central banks undertake seminars, symposiums, conferences and other research activities to better manage economic growth in the South Pacific.