Participants at the ASEAN Finance Ministers' meeting agreed to boost cooperation and policy dialogues on economy among ASEAN members to consolidate the regional monetary system, improve financial markets and act for sustainable development.

The meeting, which took place in Bali , Indonesia from April 7-8, identified the needs of further strengthening internal cooperation in the coming time to effectively cope with challenges and implement ASEAN Economic Community roadmap.

At the April 8 session, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stressed that emerged and developing economies continue to be a motive force of the global economic recovery.

However, ASEAN is facing shortcomings and challenges such as risks of rising inflation due to the increase of fuel and food prices, trade imbalance, poverty, climate change, natural disasters and inside difficulties of each country in the bloc, he said.

In the context, to build a strong and sustainable ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN needs to give priorities to three issues of cooperation within this year. The first is to ensure progresses in building the community. The second is to improve ASEAN connectivity and competitiveness to maintain its “orientation” role in East Asia . Lastly, ASEAN should increase its contributions to regional and global agreements and forums, especially the G-20 forum.

At the meeting, ASEAN member countries have agreed to launch a new financial surveillance agency, Macro Economic Research Office (AMRO), which is scheduled to be set up on May 1 with the involvement of three ASEAN partners, which are China, Japan and the Republic of Korea./.