A regional forum hosted by Griffith University’s South Pacific Centre for Central Banking (SPCCB), in collaboration with the World Bank Group, will focus on investment challenges faced by official sector asset managers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be held virtually on 10 August 2021, the forum will feature a keynote address by the World Bank Group’s Vice President and Treasurer, Mr Jingdong Hua and a panel discussion with Governors of the central banks of PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste, who are partners of SPCCB’s developing capacity program.

Dr Parmendra Sharma

“COVID-19 has presented economies worldwide with unprecedented challenges,” SPCCB Program Convener Dr Parmendra Sharma said.

“The forum will look at the difficulties experienced by central banks around the world in managing investment revenues in the current persistently low interest rate environment.”

The unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus with which developed countries sought tocushion the economic impact of COVID-19 has provided both challenge and opportunity.

Insights gained from managing assets during what continue to be turbulent times will be shared by the World Bank Treasury during the forum.

Experiences of 70 official sector asset managers around the world, and experiences of the region’s central bank Governors will also be shared.

Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor David Grant said the forum was the first of its kind.

“Jointly convened by Griffith University’s South Pacific Centre for Central Banking and the World Bank Group it is particularly timely, given the importance of investment revenues for sustainable central bank operations,” he said.

“Griffith Business School, and SPCCB, are pleased to co-host this event, which promises a range of unique insights and important learnings for key regional stakeholders.”

It comes as New Zealand’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said co-operation had become increasingly important in addressing the region’s deepening challenges.

Nanaia Mahuta made the comments at the second annual Virtual Governors Forum, convened by SPCCB and followed by an inaugural regional research seminar, also led by SPCCB along with the International Monetary Fund, in collaboration with Reserve Banks of Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank thanked the Griffith Business School and SPCCB for bringing together the region’s key policy-making institutions and initiating several research capacity-developing activities.

“These efforts are helpful to the region and complementary to the World Bank’s Reserve Advisory & Management Partnership (RAMP) program that supports official sector asset managers by leveragingthe World Bank Treasury’s own asset management and treasury expertise,” Mr. Hua said.

Details on the program and individual speakers are availableonline.

SPCCB is part of Griffith Asia Institute. It was founded in 2016 following the inaugural Central Banking Symposium hosted by Griffith University, where discussions were held to elevate the region’s study group into a research centre for central banking.

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