Aconference entitled Financial Sector Stability and Development: The Case of the Pacific Island Countries was held in late February in Apia, Samoa. The conference was cosponsored by the IMF’s Office in Tokyo and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC)—a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) regional project executed by the IMF with cofinancing from Australia, New Zealand, the Asian Development Bank, the Pacific Forum, and Japan—in collaboration with the Samoan authorities. It brought together senior financial officials from the 12 Pacific island countries and representatives of the multilateral and bilateral donors active in the region.
Participants exchanged views on financial sector issues confronting the region and familiarized themselves with the recently introduced international standards, codes, and best practices, as well as the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Programs (FSAP) and Reports on Standards and Codes (ROSC) exercises. The conference was timely, because a number of Pacific island countries have experienced problems with various financial institutions in their jurisdiction, and some have been urged by the international community to strengthen the supervision of offshore banks and take measures against money laundering and related crimes. The conference thus provided an opportunity to develop a better mutual understanding of how these objectives might be achieved.